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Hurricane Katrina

New House

First Grandchild

Second Grandchild

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Gulf Coast House
(Destroyed by Katrina)

Building our new house:
"Solar Tube" skylights


We wanted to put several skylights in the house to admit sunlight, but, because of the pitch of the roof and because the roof is a hip roof, we could put skylights only in the master bathroom and on the back porch.  We still wanted skylights in the kitchen and dining areas of the great room, so, instead of traditional skylights, we installed two Velux Solar Tubes into the kitchen and dining area of the great room.

As of 18 April, the Solar Tubes are not completely installed -- here is a link to the manufacturer so you can see what they are and here's a picture of the exterior installation -- more pictures of these will follow.

The "Solar Tube" is just what the name implies -- a tube that transmits sunlight into the living space.  We used the Solar Tubes made by Velux:

These devices have an clear acrylic dome that mounts on the roof, through a hole in the roof -- ours are 14 inches in diameter.  Attached to this dome is a round aluminum tube -- a duct -- that is highly polished on the inside.  Sunlight enters the acrylic dome, travels down through the aluminum tube, and enters the room through a big diffuser lens mounted in the ceiling.  The duct is either semi-rigid (with a little flexibility) or flexible -- so -- you can mount the dome on the roof and use flex duct to channel the sunlight wherever you want it.

Here's a photo of the domes on the backside of our roof.

The Solar Tube domes are the round objects near the top of the roof.  The white pipes are PVC vent pipes and the two square objects are Velux skylights for the back porch.  The chimney will be covered with stone in a couple of weeks.

The roofing crew cut the holes for the domes in the roof, mounted the domes, and shingled around them.  I am doing the rest of the installation.  In a few days I'll post some photos of the inside of the attic showing the tubes carrying sunlight from the domes into the house.


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