< Back

DOE’s National Renewable Energy Lab incorporates dynamic glass into two state-of-the-art facilities to foster energy-efficient buildings

Nov. 8, 2012

Two cutting-edge research facilities of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have installed SageGlass® to help serve as a model for daylighting and energy-efficient construction.

NREL’s Zero Energy Research Support Facility (RSF) and the soon-to-be-completed Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) in Golden, Colo., are using SageGlass as part of a living laboratory to help buildings conserve energy and create more comfortable, productive indoor environments.

SageGlass was installed in both facilities to evaluate and showcase the energy efficiency and daylight control advantages of electrochromic glazing technology. SageGlass is electronically tintable dynamic glass that maximizes daylight and outdoor views in buildings while controlling solar glare and heat gain. The glass can darken and clear on demand or automatically using sensors to help keep NREL staff comfortable.

“The essence of energy efficiency isn’t simply about being ‘green’ – it is about cost savings and smart resource use,” said Erin Whitney, staff scientist at NREL. “Intelligent solar-managed windows are a simple yet effective way to reduce energy consumption while retaining our Rocky Mountain views and the architectural integrity of the buildings.”

The RSF accommodates more than 800 staff and an energy-efficient data center. The ESIF will house about 200 NREL scientists and engineers working in 15 state-of-the-art laboratories. A key design objective for both facilities was to take maximum advantage of external views and optimize daylight while controlling the intense sunlight and glare. NREL incorporated this goal into a whole-building integrated design process so the facilities could serve as a model for cost-competitive, high-performance commercial buildings.

Since its installation in the RSF building, SageGlass has worked as intended, according to Ron Judkoff, principal lab program manager at NREL. “The occupants who reside next to the electrochromic windows in the NREL Zero Energy Research Support Facility (RSF) building report that they enjoy the ability to control glare while maintaining access to the view and daylight,” he said.

About SageGlass

SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, is advanced dynamic glass that can be electronically tinted or cleared to optimize daylight and improve the human experience in buildings. SageGlass manages the sunlight and heat that enter a building, significantly reducing energy consumption while improving people’s comfort and well-being. It can reduce a building’s cooling load by 20% and HVAC requirements up to 30%. It is a smarter, more elegant solution than conventional sun controls such as mechanical window shades, blinds and louvers. With SageGlass you can control sunlight and glare without shades or blinds while maintaining the view and connection to the outdoors. SageGlass is manufactured in Faribault, Minn., in the heart of “the Silicon Valley of the window industry,” and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Paris, the world’s largest building materials company.

For more information visit:                                                     

Website: www.sageglass.com

Twitter: twitter.com/Sage_Glass

Facebook: Facebook.com/SageGlass

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/sageglass

YouTube: Youtube.com/SAGEElectrochromics

About Saint-Gobain in North America

Saint-Gobain has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 250 locations in North America and approximately 15,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $6.2 billion in 2014.

Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.       

About Saint-Gobain

In 2015, Saint-Gobain is celebrating its 350th anniversary, 350 reasons to believe in the future. Backed by its experience and its capacity to continuously innovate, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction market, designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance and building materials providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. With 2014 sales of $54.6 billion, Saint-Gobain operates in 64 countries and has over 180,000 employees. For more information about Saint-Gobain, visit https://www.saint-gobain.com/en and the twitter account @saintgobain