Tiles add color, save energy at Sussex Academy

Art room alive with vivid hues
December 19, 2017

Jared Becker saw a lot of gray in Sussex Academy's art room, and he knew what it needed.

“They were at a loss for what they could do with the room, and we came up with the idea to add color,” said Becker, owner of Shore Tint and more.

The art room was built with a curved wall of 980 glass blocks that provides privacy while allowing light from outside.

Director of Finance for Sussex Academy Allen Stafford said the blocks helped make the room light and airy, but depending on the time of the year, sunshine streaming into the room could be intense. “We needed to do something. Each year the art teacher would put up paper to try and block the light,” he said.

Stafford said the school picked a palette of purple, blue and silver to match the school's colors. The colors brighten in the day as sunlight streams through, and at night the tones take on a darker shade.

“It's a totally different look at night,” Stafford said.

Becker said he chose a diagonal pattern to bring out the colors.

“The room was drab and boring, but the color made a great improvement,” he said.

It took Becker two days to apply tinted vinyl squares to the glass block.

“Bright colors lighten up people's attitudes. They say colors can really change the way people think. Anything to brighten up their day,” he said.

But adding color to the room isn't the only benefit the tiles offer.

Stafford said he had been looking for a way to improve energy efficiency in the room, and the tiles have done the trick. He estimates the colorful tiles will cut in half heat loss when it's cold outside and heat gain when temperatures soar.

“We needed to do something,” he said. “We're really pleased with the way it turned out.”