This c.1802 house in Bethlehem, PA, has been altered very little since it was built and has never had dormers as many did from the same period in this part of Eastern Pennsylvania. The choice to install VELUX skylights was inspired by a desire to be environmentally responsible and historically appropriate when renovating the third floor of the house into an office. The low profile of the skylights allowed the roof of the house to remain flat and uninterrupted by projections, just as it had been for over 200 years.
In the colder months, the skylights encourage significant solar-heat gain. Even without heat, the space never dipped below 57 degrees on the coldest nights (approximately 5 degrees F) during the winter of 2005. During the summer, solar-heat gain is reduced by the solar screens on the outside of the skylights. Opening the skylights in the summer creates a chimney effect, drawing air through the house and pulling cooler air in on the lower levels.