La Mer Condominium Skylight Replacement

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Trading a High Maintenance Skylight for a Low Maintenance Skylight with a Skylight Replacement

The managers of the 17 story La Mer Condominium complex contacted us seeking solutions. Their building, with a 4500 square foot skylight capping an atrium,  sits directly on the coast and the salt, weather, leaks, poor maintenance and time had played their role in aging and creating several problems. The so-called skylights were leaking and the steel structure under the skylights was rusted and losing its structural integrity.

The choice between repairing the existing skylight and performing a skylight replacement was complex and included some special challenges:

  • Repairing or replacing the skylight and structural steel of an atrium 17 stories above the ground floor.
  • Maintaining access to the building while the skylight replacement was being done.
  • Keeping the homeowners safe.

Our Skylight Replacement Solution:

  • We visited this site, prior to securing a contract, several times in order to address all the problems that needed to be solved concerning repairing the existing steel frame or replacing it with a new aluminum frame. We offered both solutions to the managers who ultimately chose replacement.
  • A scaffolding tower was cost-prohibitive and offensive to prospective tenants. The obvious solution was to plank off the upper floor with structural members and plywood, but the span was too great in some sections. Our solution was creative and saved the owner tens of thousands of dollars.
  • We engineered a 40 foot long 18 inch I-beam, lowered it through the existing skylight and bolted it in place. We could then construct a temporary floor around the perimeter of the atrium—with safety netting and plastic covering the opening—to allow sunlight to penetrate while we did our job. We removed the steel structure and prepared the existing building for the aluminum frame anchors. We anchored the new structure in place and installed the new canopy skylight and removed the temporary platform all in record time, under budget and under the quoted schedule.

Product Used:

  • Conservatek Omni-Hub Space Frame System, Bone White.
  • CPI Daylighting clear 4mil solid polycarbonate U-Lite Canopy (Largest U-Lite Installation in the Country).


  • The owners conducted tours throughout the project and all were pleased with the skylight replacement and specifically our hard working crew.
  • The removal of an eyesore with its major problems not only increased the value of the property, but more importantly, the condominium owners can show off their residence with pride and look out at the seascape through the now beautiful space.
  • Everyone was very pleased with the outcome of this very large project.

You have your best men in the thick of things and you have your laborers on the sidelines feeding them materials, etc. Around here it is just the opposite, the skilled guys stand around and watch the unskilled guys work.

Benefits of the Skylight Replacement:

  • No required maintenance or re-coating costs—individual exterior panels easily replaced.
  • Salt and climate resistant aluminum frame eliminated future structural damage.
  • Increased the facility’s property value.
  • Prevented water penetration into the interior environment.

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