Building owners should perhaps think about the possibility before installing such windows, as that’s the situation in which Heather Patron of Studio City, Calif., currently finds herself, reports CBS Los Angeles.
“The side view mirrors were melting,” Patron told the station. “Anything that was plastic on the car was melting.”
After getting the car’s mirrors replaced, Patron noticed melted areas on another car parked nearby and subsequently noticed what the station describes as “a powerful beam of light” reflecting off a condominium next door.
A thermometer placed in the light beam’s path on a partially cloudy day registered 120 degrees in less than five minutes, the station reports.
The Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety says that, even if the windows are to blame for the melting, it is not against the law – or building codes – to install windows that reflect sunlight.
Such windows are proving more and more popular with both residential and commercial building owners and the reflectance issue has been raised before. The National Association of Home Builders is now conducting a study on the matter, CBS reports.
In 2010, a hotel in Las Vegas experienced a similar phenomenon, but on a massive scale.
The convex design of the Vdara hotel, coupled with energy-efficient sun-reflecting windows, led to a concentration of the sun’s light – dubbed the ‘death ray’ by staff – into areas around its pool at certain times of the day, reported ConstructionDigital.com.
Earlier that year the Vdara and 11 other MGM resorts received the Green Key designation. The Vdara was one of two MGM resorts to win top marks – or “5 Keys” – from Green Key.