News & Press

San Jacinto College Selects SageGlass Harmony for Nation’s Largest Mass Timber Instructional Building

Houston Area Community College Prioritizes Wellness and Sustainability with Smart Glass

Upclose shot of smart glass windows.

Photo of San Jacinto College Central Campus Instructional Building

One forward-thinking community college in the Houston area is embracing smart glass technology to create a better outcome for people and the planet.

SageGlass, the global leader in electrochromic glass, was chosen by San Jacinto College for a new instructional building on its Central Campus in Pasadena, Texas. SageGlass will provide SageGlass Harmony® electrochromic glass, controls, and software for the building.

Electrochromic glass — also referred to as smart glass or dynamic glass — uses advanced intelligence to automatically tint throughout the day, reducing glare and regulating temperatures while letting in natural light and preserving the view of the surroundings, which traditional shading cannot. This technology promotes occupant wellness and saves energy. SageGlass Harmony is not the only noteworthy design element in San Jacinto’s new building, which is (for now) the United States’ largest instructional building constructed with mass timber.

“I think what San Jacinto is doing with mass timber and smart glass is really exciting,” said Michael Lane, SageGlass Vice President of North American Sales. “They’re showing other educational institutions what is possible in terms of sustainability, ease of construction, and occupant wellness. I expect other schools to follow suit.”

The new 122,000-square-foot building replaces two older facilities on the Central Campus quadrangle. It includes 60 teaching spaces for math, pre-engineering, college prep, English, and humanities courses. The design ties together past and future, featuring a brick exterior, exposed mass timber beams, and a two-story lobby with ample natural light courtesy of SageGlass smart glass.

“This is our fourth SageGlass project,” said Chuck Smith, Associate Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Initiatives, at San Jacinto College. “The mass timber and smart glass complement each other well, and reduce the need for blinds or shades. We evaluate smart glass alternatives for every project, and use it in all cases where it provides a life-cycle cost advantage. Our students benefit from glare-free, light-filled spaces and our taxpayers benefit because we can maintain comfort with reduced demand on the HVAC system.”

The new San Jacinto instructional building was designed by Kirksey Architecture and constructed by Tellepsen Builders, with glazing by Vision Enclosure Walls. It is expected to open for the 2022 fall semester.

“It’s exciting to be part of this San Jacinto College project featuring both mass timber and smart glass,” said Pat Pollard, Vice President at Tellepsen Builders. “San Jacinto is very thoughtful in its building materials selection, prioritizing sustainability, wellness, and aesthetics. With the mass timber and SageGlass smart glass, this building will be a campus favorite and a great example for other schools.”


About SageGlass

SageGlass is the global leader in electrochromic glass and is transforming the human experience in the built environment. With this smart technology, dynamic glass tints and clears automatically to optimize daylight and regulate temperature — all while maintaining unobstructed views of the outdoors.

With SageGlass, building occupants comfortably experience the biophilic benefits of the outdoors, including stress reduction, enhanced creativity, and greater wellbeing. Architects choose SageGlass to solve solar control challenges elegantly without sacrificing aesthetics. And SageGlass can help building owners use less energy and achieve sustainability and wellness certifications. The SageGlass Symphony® control system can be integrated into smart, connected building systems.

SageGlass holds more than 1,300 patents and counting. And as a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, SageGlass is backed by more than 350 years of building science expertise that only the world leader in sustainable environments can provide.


About Saint-Gobain

Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions for the construction, mobility, healthcare and other industrial application markets. Developed through a continuous innovation process, they can be found everywhere in our living places and daily life, providing wellbeing, performance and safety, while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and the fight against climate change.

This strategy of responsible growth is guided by the Saint-Gobain purpose, “Making the World a Better Home,” which responds to our shared ambition to act every day to make the world a more beautiful and sustainable place to live in.


About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top five community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College spans five campuses serving approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.


Media Contact:

Brie Ehrmann
Fast Horse for SageGlass