MEDIA RELEASE 02 July 2009
30 years in the making
Skylights have evolved and greatly improved over the past 30 years, becoming
widely used across the building industry. The Australian skylight industry is
estimated to be worth $150 million annually. Entrepreneur Michael Bonello played
an integral part in the development of skylight manufacturing in Australia and
has since brought skylights to the forefront of the building industry.
Bonello, founder of Skydome and marketing chair of the Skylight Industry
Association, made his first skylight at the age of 25 when the manufacturing
company he was working for gave him a temporary project.
"My employer gave me some raw material and asked me to try and make a skylight.
At this time, skylights were not common in Australia and most had to be
custom-built with a lack of knowledge about the best method of creating and
installing them," Bonello said.
"I saw the potential of skylights for Australian buildings, but my employer
decided not to pursue the idea," he added.
Despite no support from his employer, Michael followed his instinct and young
entrepreneurship and started Skydome in 1976.
He operated from his house in Abbotsford for the first three years, with
Skydomes installed in his own bathroom and kitchen serving as a showroom and his
garage as an assembly area.
As the company grew, Michael opened the Skydome factory in its current location
in Five Dock, Sydney in 1979. It now includes complete skylight manufacturing
facilities and a showroom.
Skydome has developed and introduced a number of new innovative products to the
Australian skylight market.
"We've been involved with university research along the years to help us develop
various products such as our Intech Lens, which increases skylight performance
by four times compared to other tubular skylights. It was developed in
association with the Queensland University of Technology. Our team is also
always looking at ways to improve products or the manufacturing methodology,"
Since inception, Skydome's product range has expanded and includes three types
of skylights each with many variations, features and applications: Skydome,
Skytube and Skywindow. Skydome also offers ventilation products like the
Powervent and vented skylights.
Skydome is today considered an industry leader in its field and has sold over
360,000 skylights. Skydome has showrooms in Five Dock, NSW, the Hunter Region,
NSW and Underwood, QLD.
According to Bonello, skylights are now commonly used in most western countries
and are slowly emerging in Asian markets.
Skydome exports skylights to Ireland, Dubai, England, Germany, Greece, Spain,
USA, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea.
In Australia, the Skylight Industry Association Incorporated (SIAI), of which
Skydome was a founding member, was established in 1989 to promote quality
products and professional business practices among members.
"We have created Skylight Standards and have pushed for an Industry Code of
Practice which was just introduced this month. There are amateurs in our
industry so it's important for consumers to be able to refer to a professional
association for advice," Bonello explained.
"There are a lot of changes happening in the building industry with new bushfire
codes and building codes being introduced. The Association gives members the
right tools and 'tick of approval' for their products," he added.
Skydome products, which are officially recognised as Australian Owned and Made,
are custom-made to suit Australian conditions. Their robust flashings offer
Skydomes are ideal for use in rooms with little or no natural light to improve
overall ambiance and light levels and can be used to create lighting effects.
In addition to being used to brighten interiors, skylights are also energy
efficient as they reduce the use of electric lighting throughout the day,
meaning a reduction in a building's total energy consumption and the associated
emissions of carbon dioxide.
For more information on Skydome and its products, visit www.skydome.com.au or
call 13 14 24.
Released for Skydome by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)
For further information please call Joanna Gitsham or Kim Larochelle on (02)