101 Uses of Polycarbonate

101 Uses of Polycarbonate: #17 Cold Frame

Extend Your Growing Season

Cold FrameCold FrameA cold frame traps heat from the sun creating a warm micro-climate to start bedding plants and harden off transplants earlier in the spring, even in cold Zone 4 temperatures. If you’d like to extend the growing season to harvest winter salad crops more months of the year, a cold frame is an ideal solution. Get a jumpstart on spring seedlings by building your own cold frame with multiwall polycarbonate panels.

If you would like to learn more about multiwall polycarbonate, please visit our website at



101 Uses of Polycarbonate

101 Uses of Polycarbonate: #30 Entrance Windbreak Wall

Take a Break from Wind!

entrance windbreak wallProtect a front entrance from the elements by building a polycarbonate windbreak wall. Multiwall polycarbonate is a lightweight but extremely durable plastic. It is nearly unbreakable and can withstand almost any climate conditions. A polycarbonate windbreak wall offers protection from excessive winds, reduces the intensity of sunlight, and provides privacy. In areas where winds are consistently strong, consider building a polycarbonate windbreak wall.

If you would like to learn more about multiwall polycarbonate, please visit our website at


Admin Updates

Managing Finances with Finesse

Overseeing the Financial Operations of AmeriLux

Julia VerHaaghJulia VerHaagh joined AmeriLux International in the fall of 2007. Today she serves as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. In her role as CFO, Julia oversees the financial operations of AmeriLux; this includes budgeting, financial reporting, audits, financing, and compliance. Julia also oversees and directs the Accounting and Human Resources Department.

Before joining AmeriLux, Julia worked in the pressure vessel industry as an Accounting Manager, Controller, CFO, and a Cost Accounting Consultant. Her 20 years of experience in corporate accounting and cost accounting consulting puts her is a great position to serve AmeriLux and its customers.

An admitted type-A personality, Julia is driven and committed to working hard. As CFO, Julia sees the business from hard dollars, costs, inherent value, strategic alternatives and cash flow perspectives. Julia and her team work to ensure that AmeriLux can continue to operate at a profitable level while still providing quality products at competitive costs to its customers.

When asked how her role impacts AmeriLux’s customers businesses, Julia responds: “I process and provide key information to key decision makers at AmeriLux. This information is used in the corporate decision making process that helps us provide the products and services we offer and allows for our continual expansion to meet the needs of our customers.”

“I try my best to work hard, be kind to others and have fun – this is also what I tell my kids to do every morning when they leave for school.” – Julia VerHaagh

To learn more about the many products and services we offer, please visit our website at


101 Uses of Polycarbonate

101 Uses of Polycarbonate: #100 Window Well Cover

Keep Leaves and Bugs Out!

window well coverwindow well coverwindow well coverKeep your basement egress windows clean of snow, leaves, and unsightly debris with a polycarbonate window well cover. Strong, durable and UV-resistant for long life protection,polycarbonate multiwall sheeting allows natural sunlight to enter your basement while providing privacy. A polycarbonate window well cover is simple to install and easily removed in the event of an emergency escape.

If you would like to learn more about multiwall polycarbonate, please visit our website at


Admin Updates

Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, Pittsfield, MA

Founded in 1896, Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary is located just one mile from the center of Pittsfield. With three miles of winding trails winding through scenic woods, fields and wetlands, nature enthusiasts can enjoy sightings of all kinds of bird, animal, and plant species.

For 30 years, the Canoe Meadows Community Gardens site functioned without a shelter or program space. The submission of a “Share-to-Gain” project proposal by the National Audubon Society to three Berkshire corporations: SABIC Innovative Plastics, General Dynamics, and the Berkshire Bank Foundation would soon change that fact. During a one day volunteer event at the sanctuary, these three companies agreed to volunteer time and funding toward completing the construction of a much needed pavilion.

The pavilion project, in addition to a range of other sanctuary renovations, was the brainchild of Berkshire Sanctuaries chairperson Dennis Arseneau and committee member Robert Harrison, a local architect. Dennis encouraged SABIC to take on the project as their annual community and team building exercise. Robert drew up the plans with site planning help from sanctuary committee member and landscape architect Rob Akroyd.

In one day, a 60 x 30 foot pavilion was constructed using an innovative plastic roofing material donated by SABIC. This new roofing material called Lexapanel* was used because it provided a daylighting option to the typical metal roof. The pavilions intended use is as an outdoor classroom and as a picnic spot for the visitors to the sanctuary. The use of Lexapanel* provides cover from the elements and shade from the sun while letting enough light in to eliminate the need for additional lighting. The pavilion is the first time the Lexapanel* standing seam system has been used as a roofing material.

Lexapanel* polycarbonate standing seam technology provides architects and builders with an exceptional daylighting option for beautiful translucent roofing, such as the Canoe Meadows Garden Pavilion. The Lexapanel* sheet system was developed in collaboration with AmeriLux International, the North American master distributor of SABIC’s Lexan* Thermoclear* and Thermoclick* structured sheet products. Compared to other standing seam systems, Lexapanel* offers far more glazing options, including choice of sheet width, thickness, coating, color, structure, and choice of connection.

After a year of being installed, SABIC contacted Harrison Design Associates, Inc., the firm that designed the Canoe Meadows Pavilion and had specified Lexapanel*.  Robert Harrison, the project architect, had this to say regarding the use of Lexapanel* in the future: “Certainly, our office would be willing to use the Lexapanels on a future project.  I can think of a lot of projects where the Lexapanel system would be a very good fit.  I look forward to being involved in a project where I can specify the Lexapanels again.”

SABIC also contacted Rene Laubach, the director of Pleasant Valley and the Canoe Meadows properties.  Rene commented, “What we especially like about the roof is that it is translucent. It allows enough light to pass through, yet provides adequate shade at the same time. And the color blends in nicely with the sky making it less obtrusive.”

If you would like to learn more about the Lexapanel* polycarbonate standing seam daylighting solution, please go to and click on Lexapanel*.

* Trademark of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP B.V.



Architects' Viewpoint

Earn CEU Credits Online

The fall season can be a busy time. To those of us in the Architectural and Professional community it can mean only a few more months to acquire remaining continuing education credits (CEUs). AmeriLux International offers AIA approved courses through AEC Daily. In addition to these courses, AmeriLux offers webinars through a new online Distance Learning Program.

For the remainder of this year, AmeriLux will be scheduling at least one webinar each month beginning in October. Courses on multiwall polycarbonate and standing seam systems are currently available and are being improved for content and presentation. Courses on aerogel-filled multiwall polycarbonate and tongue and grove vertical glazing systems will be coming soon. These new courses will build upon the current courses, going into more detail about the use of multiwall polycarbonate in daylighting and sustainable design. These new courses will also be AIA approved and provide HSW and SD learning units.

Register now for our next webinar called “Daylighting with Aerogel-Filled Multiwall Polycarbonate” and satisfy your remaining continuing education needs. This webinar is scheduled for Tuesday October 30th at 11 am CST. If this time does not work for you, we would be happy to schedule a webinar to accommodate your schedule. Or if you would prefer an in person course, we can arrange an on-site lunch and learn presentation. For more information on our continuing education webinars and other available resources, please visit our Distance Learning Program web page or click here to send an email.

Enjoy the fall and I look forward to seeing you online soon.

Tim Fikkert, AIA