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Dynamic SageGlass helps government buildings meet energy-efficiency and worker comfort requirements

Jun. 11, 2014

Electronically-tintable SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, is being incorporated into a growing number of government buildings to help public workplaces save energy and provide an improved work environment for employees.

A wide variety of federal, state and local government projects ranging from homeland defense facilities to research labs have recently installed SageGlass dynamic glass to solve challenging sun glare and heat-gain problems, resulting in considerable cost and energy savings.

For example, the federal government spends approximately $7 billion per year to power more than three billion square feet of federal building space, while state and local government agencies spend more than $10 billion annually. One SageGlass customer – The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – extensively tested SageGlass performance and determined the technology can reduce heating and air conditioning equipment size by up to 25%, cooling energy loads for buildings by up to 20%, and lighting costs by up to 60% while providing building occupants with more natural daylight and greater comfort. In addition, SageGlass is installed in three separate buildings at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.  

Another significant government project is the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) headquarters in Washington, D.C., which transformed a large open courtyard into a seven-story south-facing atrium with SageGlass skylights. It enabled the LEED® Gold certified project to improve occupant comfort and energy efficiency by controlling solar heat gain and glare.  

Similarly, the U.S. Naval Academy used dynamic glass to optimize daylight in its historic McDonough Hall athletic facility. Navy architects sought to improve the building’s energy performance and maximize daylight by replacing the dreary metal roof with one made entirely of dynamic glass. A skylight with over 5,000 feet of SageGlass covers a high traffic corridor and keeps occupants comfortable even with direct sunlight overhead. 

SageGlass is also being used to improve security at two government border crossing stations. The Donna-Rio Bravo U.S. Land Port of Entry in Texas and the Ajo Border Patrol station on the Arizona/Mexico border are using SageGlass to help border patrol agents better protect the country in the glaring sun and heat of the American southwest. It provides the agents maximum visibility and unobstructed views at all angles throughout the day and in any weather condition to do their jobs, without having to install sunshades or blinds, or resort to sunglasses, visors or other sun-blocking methods that would otherwise compromise the outdoor view.          

A new state-of-the-art research facility at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago is using SageGlass to save energy and improve the way people experience daylight in the building. The Advanced Protein Characterization Facility (APCF) at Argonne, which conducts advanced protein science experiments, includes a south-facing curtain wall with more than 2,000 square feet of SageGlass to optimize daylight, providing an ideal environment for scientific collaboration while also being highly energy efficient.

State and local governments are also turning to SageGlass to meet new building design objectives. Municipal centers like the Cottage Grove City Hall and the Tribal Center for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, both located in Minnesota, used SageGlass to provide large sunlit spaces and a welcoming environment well-suited for people conducting government work.

Like the federal border crossing stations, the state of Wyoming installed SageGlass at its Torrington Port of Entry to give agents maximum visibility and an unobstructed view at all angles throughout the day and in all weather conditions to monitor trucks that drive through the facility. And the Minnesota National Guard Armory in Pine City is using dynamic glass to help improve the effectiveness of soldier training in the facility.

SageGlass is also catching on with government organizations overseas. The Utrecht Government Building in the Netherlands, for instance, solved an urgent sun glare and heat gain problem that hindered legislative business by installing a round SageGlass skylight.

“At a time of contentious government budget-cutting and rising energy prices, improving the energy efficiency of government buildings delivers the greatest cost and energy savings—faster than any other clean energy initiative,” said Andrew Hulse, vice president of sales for SageGlass. “Governments can lead by example and achieve substantial energy cost savings across their facilities, demonstrate energy and environmental leadership, and raise public awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse emissions.

“Tackling that challenge with dynamic glass has the added benefit of improving worker productivity and happiness by providing abundant daylight and a connection to the outdoors. That’s why government is one of the fastest growing markets for SageGlass.”

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.

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