University of Calgary

No more buckets

UToday HomeJanuary 15, 2013

By Amy Dowd

View of the new skylight. Photo by Amy DowdView of the new skylight. Photo by Amy DowdSince last summer, the Health Sciences Centre atrium at Foothills Campus has been largely hidden by scaffolding and hoarded off by plywood walkways to accommodate the replacement of its 25 year-old leaky skylight.

With construction finally complete, the space will be returned to the Foothills Campus community at the end of the month, brighter, more energy efficient and, of course, drier.

“The skylight replacement project has been completed on time and on budget with minimal disruption to building occupants and visitors,” says Guy Levy, executive director, Faculty of Medicine. “The new skylight has passed all performance testing to date.” 

The atrium skylight occupies just under half an acre in area. The project team has replaced approximately 1,000 panes of glass and associated metal structure. The glass itself has been treated with a spectrally selective coating to screen out harmful UV rays and unwanted solar gain, heat strengthened and laminated to protect against hail damage.

The project team has also constructed three levels of catwalk access walkways for improved maintenance of the new skylight, replaced a few burnt out light bulbs and painted over the majority of the old pink framing in the process.

The atrium will be getting a final facelift in the spring with an updated landscape design. All of the former tree wells will be filled in and tiled over in fitting with that new design. The overall concept — built around sustainable vegetation and with flexibility in mind — includes a system of planters and vines to green up the space in keeping with the needs and comfort of students, faculty, staff and visitors.