Yenra : Home : Translucent Home Roofing System : Technology allows full spectrum natural light into homes without the energy loss of glass

Translucent Roofing

GE Plastics will help Centerpoint Translucent Systems develop a new translucent roofing system that provides full-spectrum, natural light, and improved aesthetics, comfort, and energy efficiency for the residential new-construction market. Centerpoint will build the new systems using GE's Lexan Thermoclear multiwall polycarbonate sheet - a material based on GE's tough Lexan resin in combination with Cabot's Nanogel translucent aerogel.

Centerpoint's roofing structure allows penetration of natural, filtered daylight into living areas without the energy loss and higher heating and cooling costs of glass roofing inserts. The company selected GE's Lexan Thermoclear multiwall sheet for the new pre-assembled roofing system based on its excellent light transmission, the ability to withstand wind loads of up to 140 mph, superior UV resistance and impact strength, light weight and design flexibility vs. glass, and exceptional sound and energy insulation.

"Centerpoint's translucent roofing system gives residential developers a high-end product to differentiate their homes and communities in the increasingly competitive new-construction segment," said Kendall Sayers of Centerpoint. "GE provided tremendous support in helping us identify a material candidate for our roofing system. Its Lexan Thermoclear sheet not only delivers outstanding performance but also enhances the beauty of the home environment."

Consumers purchasing new homes are increasingly requesting floor plans that include more natural light, both to improve aesthetics and to reduce energy needed for interior lighting. However, intensive use of glass glazing can cause harsh lighting effects and lead to interior heat buildup from penetration of near-infrared radiation, especially in hot and/or sunny locales. Centerpoint's new roofing system addresses these concerns by using the GE and Cabot materials to filter and diffuse natural daylight entering home living areas, eliminating shadows and glare, and raising energy efficiency by a factor of five compared to glass panels. The system also provides sound-dampening qualities for a quieter environment.

GE will supply a gray metallic/white tinted version of Lexan Thermoclear multiwall sheet in a custom-designed 25mm. This configuration will be filled with Cabot's Nanogel translucent aerogel, a lightweight, nanoporous insulation material that delivers superb thermal insulation and light transmission.

"GE prides itself on its global leadership in materials innovation," said Michael Difucci of GE Plastics. "The Centerpoint roofing application is a perfect example of how this creativity can enable a breakthrough product like this new roofing system. By combining technical performance with design flexibility and superior aesthetics, GE's high-tech materials provide a competitive advantage to our customers."

Currently, three configurations of the Centerpoint roofing system are on display in homes with plans underway to install them in homes throughout the southeast. The translucent roofing system is also an excellent candidate for roof domes, skylights, walkways, conservatories, and other building applications where it is desirable to admit high levels of light while keeping excess heat to a minimum.