Bryant University Dome Skylight Retrofit

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Founded in 1863, Bryant University is a private university located in Smithfield, Rhode Island. It grants the degrees of bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and master’s degrees in business, taxation and accounting.

An onsite skylight inspection was made June 25th 2013 by Skylight Specialists, Inc., represented by Rob Packard. The skylight of concern is a structural aluminum tube, dome skylight manufactured by Ickes-Braun Glasshouses, Inc.

75’ diameter nominal.
Single layer bronze acrylic domes.
5’ round apex dome skylight.

The acrylic glazing, installed in 1971 showed signs of aging including, crazing, gasket failure, reduced heat blockage, etc. Multiple  and unsuccessful repairs had previously been made by roofers to try and stop water penetration by applying EPDM material over the glazing caps. The acrylic has become weak and can no longer support weight due to wind and/or snow loads. Domes are either breaking from snow load or the dome is being forced inwards instead of arching out.

Initial Repairs:

Bryant requested that we replace three of the most damaged domes in order to get them through the winter of 2013 until permanent repairs could be made to the entire skylight in 2014.

  • We conducted all field measurements of the existing dome skylight.
  • We replaced three of the domes that were in very poor condition.
  • The temporary repairs performed as designed which got them through the winter with out any issues.

The Dome Skylight Retrofit:

Bryant considered the option of replacing the entire skylight or “re-skinning” the skylight which utilizes the existing structure. A “re-skin” is where we remove the old glazing and as much of the glazing system as possible and add a new glazing system (MAGS Bar) and new glazing; in effect creating a whole new skylight over the existing structure. On this project the replacement option was not viable after engineers determined that the building would not meet current seismic codes without alterations to the structure. The same engineers certified that the existing structure was adequate in holding the additional weight needed for the “re-skin”.

  • We supplied and installed 140 acrylic domes that were inserted into our own MAGS BAR Retrofit System.
  • We raised the curb of the apex skylight and flashed it properly.
  • We repaired the ladder system to its original state along with improvements to provide a better long term solution.
  • We improved the original sill structure by adding brackets fastened to the concrete curb.
  • We added sill flashing that would drain water onto the roof from the skylight and allowed for better access when the roof was replaced in the future.

The beginning of the dome skylight retrofit using our own MAGS BAR system:

PART ONE — MAGS BAR Installation:

PART TWO — Acrylic Dome Installation:

Product Used:

  • 140 domes manufactured by Skyline Sky-Lites. 3/8″ thick acrylic #2370 bronze.
  • This is a non-structural, all aluminum, glazing bar with neoprene gaskets. It allows for the simple installation of glazing on any structure and with any design.


  • Correct the daylighting and solar heat levels required for the space.
  • Reduce dependence on electric lighting—increase energy savings.
  • Increase the facility’s property value.
  • Healthy, natural daylight in the space with soft light.
  • No required maintenance or re-coating costs—individual exterior panels  are easily replaced.
  • In work environments, increased daylighting has been shown to increase productivity.
  • In classroom environments, increased daylighting has been shown to increase students performance.

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