This fall, the Memphis Veterans’ Administration Hospital opened a new post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) clinic for veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The facility is designed to provide a home-like, relaxed environment for patients with the purpose of helping speed their recovery. An important feature of the new addition is its abundant natural daylight, which has been made possible through the use of SageGlass® electronically tintable dynamic glass.
The VA wanted the 5,000-square-foot expansion to feel more like a small, comfortable hotel than a traditional hospital, said John McBride, architect with JBHM Architects, the designers of the facility. “The space was designed to be a refuge where veterans can come and go as they please as they work through their treatment programs,” he said.
The focal point of the clinic is the Dayroom, a large, open lounge area that provides a space for group therapy, activities and relaxation, McBride said. Key to its design is the generous use of daylight which numerous studies have shown helps shorten patients’ recovery times and contributes to their overall well-being. Daylight enters the Dayroom through two 36-foot by 5-foot glass walls, one each on the western and eastern facades. Both facades are glazed with SageGlass.
In the original design, the walls were to contain static glass, but designers knew the large expanses would present significant glare and solar heat issues. Compounding matters, the upper panes are 18 feet above the floor, making them difficult to access for cleaning.
McBride considered using motorized shades to block the sun during the problematic times of the day, but the cost, complexity and the loss of the view and natural lighting caused him to seek a better alternative. “Our cost analysis took into consideration that motorized shades were not only costly to operate, but we would have to hire specialists to clean them since they were inaccessible. On top of that, the VA has rules against the use of shades in clinical environments due to the dust problem they can create. SageGlass eliminated those problems with an automated solution that controlled the solar rays without eliminating the daylighting and the connection to the outdoors,” he said. SageGlass was cost competitive and presented an elegant solution for the VA.
SageGlass is electronically tintable glass that can be tinted or cleared to maximize daylighting, support sustainability, and enhance the occupant experience in buildings. SageGlass manages the sunlight and heat that enter a building through the facade, improving people’s comfort and reducing a building’s cooling load by up to 20%.
The new facility will assist numerous service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from PTSD symptoms. The Memphis VA Medical Center has developed a special team called the Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn Team to support the veterans in the clinic who served in these campaigns.
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:
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.
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