Case Studies

Skyco Shading Systems

Conserving energy across the United States

Founded in 1994 by Sandra Young, Skyco Shading Systems (Skyco) is a custom shade manufacturer and solar louver producer for commercial and residential buildings. The company’s focus is on motorization and green energy solutions for projects in hospitality, health care, commercial, residential and education facilities.

Sandra’s background in interior design has allowed the company to embrace fabric as a fundamental element of its work and has positioned Skyco as a progressive company in the shading industry. With a large selection of available systems, fabric and components, Skyco is able to help its customers realize solutions that complement their design and can also customize components to offer innovative answers in solar control, energy management and interior daylighting.

Made in America

Skyco is headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., and also has a secondary manufacturing plant in Maryland, allowing the company to manufacture all the products used in its projects in the United States. While the company does a majority of its manufacturing in Santa Ana, its Maryland plant also has the capability to produce materials for large projects on the East Coast – removing the need for heavy transportation costs and energy expenditure, ultimately making for a greener product.

“Most manufacturers have outsourced their labor and manufacturing to other countries, because it is generally cheaper, but we are keeping our jobs in California,” says Mike Brogan, the company’s national sales manager. “We want to support our country and our state. Our product quality is higher, because we believe in our people, as well as our product. It’s not an assembly line, it’s custom products.”

Cutting-edge technology

Not only is Skyco leading the sun control industry in new directions by creating custom shading solutions that provide comfort and privacy, the company is also producing products that complement architecture design and generate energy savings. A focus on green energy solutions allows Skyco to be competitive in its niche market and deliver the technology required for LEED certification goals like daylighting, thermal comfort and enhancing views through glare control.

The forward-thinking company stays on top of industry trends by looking to progressive countries worldwide to find the most innovative ideas on the market and then manufactures such products. “We don’t settle on what’s available today, and we’re searching for the products that will help our buildings be smarter and more efficient tomorrow,” says Mike. “We do this by looking at the global society that already uses these products.”

Among its new ventures, Skyco has recently incorporated a focus on daylight harvesting, installing motorized shades and subsequently capturing the sun and its light to power buildings. To accomplish its goals, the company manufactures Retrosolar, which are solar controlled louvers that aim to perform daylight harvesting by blocking glare and replacing artificial lighting with natural lighting; a product that allows the building to drastically reduce its carbon footprint.

As energy costs have increased over the years, Skyco has seen corresponding growth in the natural sunlight harvesting portion of its services. “Daylight harvesting is the new buzzword in the U.S. market, but it has been used in some of the greenest buildings in the world,” says Mike. “American businesses are beginning to realize how important this tool is and we’re just now starting to follow the rest of the world into the daylight economy, which is run without artificial light. Electric lighting is the second largest consumer in a building. If you can turn off the lights, it’s possible to save between 40 and 50 percent of the energy consumption of the building.”

Always on the cutting-edge of green technology, Skyco is introducing new solutions to clients, such as scalable building management systems that isolate space through programming smart buildings and creating features that enhance its motorized shades. New shade features include the ability to control performance from mobile devices and the ability to receive hardware updates via computer. Committed to creating net zero buildings, Skyco is looking to lead the eco-friendly movement.

“We have the resources to change America’s dependency on fossil fuels,” Mike details. “We can help buildings become self-sufficient so our next generations do not have to fear an energy crisis.”

Skyco recently became a distributor for the Renson product line from Belgium. Featured products are elegant outdoor living structures and exterior shading systems with zip technology, which locks the shade into side channels.

As an advocate for eco-friendly manufacturing and construction practices, Skyco has attended the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (Greenbuild) for several years. At the 2014 conference, the company showcased potential, as well as current products that could benefit clients’ desires to create energy efficient buildings.

Among the products the company intends to present are energy efficient fabrics, motorization and scalable building management systems. Mike likens the green niche industry to one that is always looking to better the future. “We have the knowledge and technology to be very progressive and it is really important that young architects see this forward looking innovation,” Mike elaborates. “Greenbuild is growing in size because people see the value; it really is cutting-edge.”

Custom energy-saving solutions

Skyco has a diverse portfolio of current and past clients that utilize eco-friendly solutions, including car dealerships, a national account with Starbucks and a $4 million project at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas where it installed 10,000 roller shades. The company is also currently in the product design stage with several large architectural firms, as well as several hospital and schools that are looking toward daylighting solutions. “What separates us from our competitors is we recognize that not one solution exists for the various types of buildings,” says Mike proudly. “We find custom solutions that fit each client’s needs rather than applying one product to all buildings.”

The company generates $8 million in annual revenue and employs 25 people. Looking forward, Skyco Shading Systems is hoping to grow 25 percent each year, with the goal of doubling its size in just four years.

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Spring 2018



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