October 15, 2022

HERA (High-spec Electric Rooflight Automation) and MARS® (Modern Automated Rooflight System) comparison

Written by Rebecca Clayton

kings-road-auto-rooflight (35)-min

IQ has two automated sliding rooflight systems; the H.E.R.A., a sliding box rooflight and the M.A.R.S.®, a flat sliding rooflight. 

When it comes to choosing an automated rooflight system, specifying a sliding automated rooflight is an extremely popular choice, as this can be used for ventilation, to increase the flow of natural light or for roof access.  

IQ has two types of automated sliding rooflights, the HERA, which is a box type sliding rooflight, and the MARS®, which is a flat sliding rooflight. 

This guide will compare the two sliding rooflight systems and help you to understand their similarities and differences as well as which type of project each automated glazing system is best suited to. 


What is HERA (High-spec Electric Rooflight Automation)? 

Utilising the latest advances in modern glazing technology, this innovative sliding box rooflight system uses a fully thermally broken aluminium profile to achieve slim sightlines whilst offering outstanding performance levels.  

A range of control options, frame finishes and glass options are available allowing the systems to be manufactured completely bespoke for each project to suit specific design requirements.  

When specified as an access rooflight to rooftop spaces, the HERA motor can be concealed underneath external finishes such as decking or pebbles. The HERA box type sliding rooflight also has an integrated gutter system that ensures efficient water drainage and prevention of water build-up.  


What is MARS® (Modern Automated Rooflight System)? 

Modern engineering processes and advances in technology have allowed us to develop a flat sliding glass rooflight system, now trademarked as MARS®. This automated sliding rooflight system offers the largest sizes of any opening rooflight. 

Due to the bespoke nature of this automated rooflight and its unique design, there are very few limitations of size, shape or structure. The MARS can even be specified with venting and sliding panes.  

Bonded glazing contributes towards the modern and minimal aesthetic of this system whilst increasing the security levels of the system.  


An example of the automated glazing systems.

See our YouTube video below for a close look at our Skyhouse showroom automated systems.


What are the similarities between the HERA and the MARS®? 

Both the HERA and the MARS are automated sliding rooflights that can reach impressive sizes allowing abundant natural light to enter the space. Thermally broken aluminium profiles are used for both systems to ensure high thermal insulation levels. 

They also use the same control options which include a wall-mounted switch which is available in a range of RAL colours and designs, a remote control, a keypad or smart home integration. This allows both sliding rooflights to be opened easily allowing for high levels of ventilation. 

Sliding automatic rooflight

We have multiple rooflight systems that can be specified as access rooflights, including the HERA and MARS systems. This means that they can be used to create an access point for roof gardens and terraces. 

Weather automation integration is available for both the HERA and the MARS including wind, rain and heat sensors. This gives the automated rooflight systems the ability to open and close automatically.  

Both the HERA and the MARS have a laminated inner glass pane, this is essential for roof glazing as in the event of breakage the laminated inner pane holds the shattered glass in place, preventing it from falling into the space below and injuring anyone or damaging anything. 


What are the differences between HERA and MARS®? 

The first and most visible difference between the two rooflight systems is that the MARS is a flat sliding rooflight and the HERA is box shaped sliding rooflight. Multiple panes of glass are used per sliding section in the HERA to create the cuboid shape. 

Both systems offer a wide range of glazing options including solar control glazing and low maintenance glazing. When it comes to glazing options the HERA cannot be specified with electric glazing solutions such as heated glass or switchable privacy glass however, the MARS can. 

Depending on the location of the rooflight and what the application, some people prefer a venting rooflight, as this is able to be opened slightly creating ventilative cooling while still providing protection from the rain. 

The MARS can be sliding and venting, meaning that during rainfall, is it not necessary to slide it open. The HERA on the other hand can only be specified as a sliding system. 


Technical Specification Comparison 

Comparing our automated rooflight systems


How to know what Roof Glazing System to use? 

This would largely depend on the location of the rooflight and the surrounding building structure. If the system is going to be fitted into a structural opening on a flat roof then the MARS would be best suited, however, if it is coming on the edge of a build, such as in our Britten Street project, then the HERA would be best suited.  

These two sliding glass rooflight have many similarities however, neither one is better than the other it just depends on the application and where it is being installed.  


If you have an upcoming project which would benefit from one of our automated rooflight systems then get in touch with the team at IQ who will be happy to answer any questions and advise on which system is best suited for your project requirements.