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Latest news about hot window reflections causing problems

Martin Holladay | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Many GBA readers have probably been following the story about how sunlight reflecting off windows can melt vinyl siding.

A recent news story highlights the latest problem from window reflections: sunlight reflecting off the windows of a new high-rise Las Vegas hotel is reportedly melting plastic garbage bags and causing severe burns to hotel guests sunbathing at the hotel pool. That’s scary.

The news story has a catchy headline:
Las Vegas hotel guests left with severe burns from ‘death ray’ caused by building’s design

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  1. James Morgan | | #1

    This problem has been around in one form or another for decades. The titanium siding on Gehry's Disney Concert Hall in LA makes the concrete plaza on its south side unbearable. An office building I worked in in England years ago was retrofitted with reflective film on its south-facing curtain wall in the mid-80's. It helped with the horrendous solar gain on the interior but also caused blinding glare and a sharp rise in fender-benders at the adjacent traffic roundabout. We do need to be aware of the external consequences of our architectural choices.

  2. Riversong | | #2

    Just one more example of form superceding function.

    Now if they would remove that silly pool and replace it with a concentrating solar collector...

  3. Andrew Henry | | #3

    Only in Vegas would you have the perfect alignment of 'DeathRays' and swimming pools.

    It will all come apart in Vegas! No water... it's a desert! Good place for a city on a warming planet.

  4. Riversong | | #4

    Las Vegas is merely the epitome of a civilization that, from the start, has been nothing more than a gamble (and a long shot against the odds).

    The Cosmic Bookie is coming for payment, and she don't mess around.

  5. GBA Editor
  6. Riversong | | #6

    I love it. This "death ray" building is LEED certified!

  7. Dan Kolbert | | #7

    Sure, it's only frying people outside of it.

  8. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #8

    Journalists all over the world are having fun with this story. A Chinese-language TV news report was illustrated with an animated cartoon of burned sunbathers. The YouTube version includes helpful subtitles:

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