K-12 Daylighting

K-12 Schools Quality Daylighting Kalwall

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Kalwall Logo Powers Products
Structures Unlimited


Classrooms and learning spaces present unique challenges when it comes to bringing in natural light and views to the outdoors. Many studies have concluded that students who study in spaces with natural light and views are more productive, exhibit better behavior and achieve higher attendance. However, delivering quality, glare-free daylight is not a simple task.

During certain times of the day and year, clear glazing will deliver extremely high light levels and contract, and create heat and glare. Certain types of “diffuse” glass can also produce significant glare problems when met with direct sunlight. We have all seen examples of teachers and school districts attempts to remedy the glare and heat issues, with varying degrees of success!

The translucent panels diffuse the daylight 170° on the interior, driving the daylight deep into the classroom and onto all surfaces, yet completely eliminating glare. Views to the outdoors can be provided by either fixed or operable clear windows. This system is also an excellent solution for replacement of existing thermally inefficient windows. The design of this library is excellent example of strategically integrating view glazing within the Kalwall Unitized Curtainwall system. With cost savings of up to 50% over glass curtainwall systems, the Kalwall system also provides unmatched thermal performance (up to R-value = 20) with the 2-3/4” translucent panel system, and museum-quality diffused daylight.

Daylighting helps to create more productive, comfortable learning environments that illuminate such as:
  • Classrooms + Science Labs
  • Entrances, Canopies + Walkways
  • Common + Circulation Areas
  • Gymnasia + Field Houses
  • Visual Art + Music Studios
  • Theatre, Dance + Yoga Studios
  • Cafeterias + Dining Halls
  • Libraries + Media Centers
  • Vocational Training Areas
  • Pools + Natatoriums
  • Administrative Offices
Hunters Point South School, Location: Long Island City NY, Architect: FX Fowle Architects

Show your school spirit

Architects are finding creative ways to integrate school colors and logos with Kalwall’s Facade systems. Cuningham Group successfully integrated Boulder Valley School District – Meadowlark PK8 school colors into the gym clerestory. Using the Kalwall Verti-Kal grid pattern as a base, the insulation inside the structural translucent panel cells has been dyed to match the school palette. The design to the right demonstrates colored insulation within the Kalwall Plank grid pattern.

Architects are creatively incorporating school logos and signage on the Kalwall exterior face sheets, either the paint or vinyl graphics.

Meadowlark Kalwall - colored
Meadowlark Kalwall - colored interior
Meadowlark Kalwall - colored exterior

school entry design

With an emphasis on school security and safety, most schools now present a single entry into the building. Demarking this entry with a signature canopy not only makes for easy way-finding, it also provides a dry and welcoming place for parents and children. Kalwall translucent panels are an ideal material due to the following properties:

LIGHTWEIGHT – Weighing less than 2 lbs/sf, the structure can be significantly reduced, saving money

TRANSLUCENCY – Glare-free daylight is delivered beneath the canopy, creating an inviting entry

DURABILITY AND HAIL-RESISTANCE – The reinforced fiberglass panels stand up extremely well to hail and provide many years of protection

Pre-engineered Canopy Systems from Structures Unlimited provides a turn-key solution for your entry design, including single source responsibility and free engineering services. Using an aluminum box beam structure, the complete system, from the anchor bolts up, is provided by Structures Unlimited. Allowing the building’s interior light to gently illuminate the entry and walkways is an excellent way to provide a welcoming, safe entry. Multi-story facades are simple to clad with the Kalwall Unitized Curtainwall system, and can provide up to R-value = 20.


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