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Bell Works Begins Installation of US’ Largest Photovoltaic Glass Skylight

Interior view of Bell Works atrium, showing skylight, Holmdel, NJ. Interior view of Bell Works atrium, showing skylight, Holmdel, NJ.

HOLMDEL, NJ—Somerset Development has begun construction of the largest photovoltaic glass skylight in the United States at Bell Works, Somerset’s revitalization of the two-million-square-foot former Bell Labs facility into an iconic mixed-use “metroburb” in Holmdel, NJ.

Spearheaded by Onyx Solar, a global company manufacturing transparent photovoltaic glass for Building Integrated Photovoltaics, the installation includes 3,200 skylights spanning the quarter-mile-long atrium roof, covering 60,000 square feet. When it is completed, the PV skylight will both naturally illuminate the complex while generating free, clean electricity from the sun.

Bell Works is already home to an extraordinary community of innovators, and it’s our job to continue to innovate the building commensurately,” says Ralph Zucker, president of Somerset Development. “People want a workplace that extends itself beyond professional needs – one that stands for something beyond the cubicle walls. As Bell Works continues to attract some of the region’s most forward-thinking companies, it is only fitting that it incorporates the latest in sustainable technology, all in a way that is both functional and attractive.”

Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Bell Works’ skylight will feature 24 different glazings from Onyx Solar to cover the various unique skylight schemes at the Eero Saarinen-designed property. Each will be comprised of amorphous Silicon thin film photovoltaic (a-Si PV) active glass, laminated between two sheets of tempered safety glass, allowing for 20 percent visual light transmittance to reduce solar heat gain while producing energy, all while preserving Bell Work’s historical design.

“Where traditional opaque solar panels are designed solely to generate electricity, Bell Works’ newly installed PV skylight will be transparent, allowing for light to pass through the PV Glass without compromising the building’s renowned day-lit atrium,” says Diego Cuevas, vice president, business development, Onyx Solar. “The photovoltaic glass will enhance Eero Saarinen’s unique aesthetic while maximizing energy efficiency in this expansive space.”

Bell Works is also planning to provide electric vehicle charging stations in its outdoor parking lots, which will utilize the energy produced by the newly installed photovoltaic glass.

As previously reported by GlobeSt.com, the building is revered for its role in spurring the development of some of the world’s foremost inventions and research concepts. Today, Somerset Development is transforming the building into a mixed-use ‘metroburb,’ complete with offices, retail, dining, healthcare, recreation, and hospitality.

Bell Works has signed leases for more than 60 percent of its office space. In addition to the recent signing of anchor tenant iCIMS, a leading provider of innovative software-as-a-service human resources software, Somerset also executed a headquarters lease with cloud-based business management and fleet management solutions company WorkWave. Other prominent commercial tenants include: Acacia Communications, a recognized optical transmissions manufacturer; Jersey Central Power & Light; MetTel, a New York City-based telecommunications firm;  McCann Systems, a national audiovisual company; NVIDIA Corporation, a publicly traded multi-platform technology firm; Spirent Communications, an international telecommunications firm; Suttons International, a worldwide logistics company; Symbolic IO, a data storage company that recently launched its innovative platform; and vi Collaboration Hub, a co-working space and networking group for technology companies and innovators in the region.

Additionally, Toll Brothers has stared development of the residential portion of the 472-acre site, which will include 40 single-family homes and 185 age-restricted townhomes.

Bell Works is approximately one mile from Exit 114 of the Garden State Parkway. Its central location provides easy access to major commercial and transportation hubs throughout the Tri-State area.

Interior view of Bell Works atrium, showing skylight, Holmdel, NJ.

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