SPARTANBURG REGIONAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, Spartanburg, S.C.
“From an architectural perspective, being a corporate office and knowing that people would be in the building for long hours, we were concerned about daylight,” says Sara Robinson, an architect with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture. “Light from windows along the exterior wall didn’t penetrate very deep.”
The architects knew skylights would be a solution on a functional and symbolic level by placing them in the roof over the space that connected the two original mill buildings.
“We made the joining space a central hub defined by natural light from the skylights,” Robinson notes. “We symbolically divided the space to reference the original two buildings and, by cutting light wells in the second floor, daylight extends all the way to the ground floor.”
Interior walls have storefront windows, allowing light from the skylights to spill into adjacent offices.
Velux Modular Skylights were a cost-effective solution in terms of product price, labor and installation time. The architects specified a standard-size skylight unit, though the former mill buildings have somewhat irregular roof structure dimensions. “We had columns 9-feet apart in one direction and 26-feet apart in the other direction, but being an old mill building everything was irregular: Sometimes the columns were a little over 9-feet apart,” Robinson adds.
JP Ross & Co. installed 90 skylight units on pre-built curbs in just five hours. On the second day of the installation, only two people were needed to attach claddings and flashings. “With their plug-and-play installation method, VELUX has found a way to significantly increase the speed of installation without jeopardizing the integrity of the overall system,” says Jason Peterson with JP Ross & Co. “Using VMS drastically decreases the cost of installing a structural skylight system.”
Daylight fills the central corridor and employees who rely on phone calls and email to collaborate now feel truly part of one, unified team. “The building was designed with light and open gathering spots in mind,” says Ken Meinke, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s chief financial officer. “When working with the architects, we wanted to retain the charm and historic feel of the building but also make it bright for our associates working here so they would feel a sense of community as they worked.”
SKYLIGHT MANUFACTURER: VELUX
The historic Beaumont Mill is deeply rooted in South Carolina’s Piedmont region. The mill produced cotton textiles and consisted of two large, 2-story brick buildings constructed parallel to each other in 1890 and 1910. As textile manufacturing technology changed, so did the mill and, at one point, the two structures were connected to create one massive manufacturing facility.
The mill was shuttered in 1997, but with generations of Spartanburg residents having worked within its walls, the community had a strong desire to preserve it. Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System leaders decided to renovate the building as the new home to its administrative departments, which previously were located in separate buildings around the city. “We worked to preserve the integrity of this historic building by including the original floors, exterior brick and expansive windows,” Meinke notes. “The mill’s long history was incorporated into the renovations and we have historic photos and items displayed in the building.”