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SageGlass helps U.S. Naval Academy enhance daylight and energy savings at historic McDonough Hall

Nov. 23, 2013

A leaky metal roof at the U.S. Naval Academy’s McDonough Hall has been transformed into a glass roof delivering abundant daylight and energy savings into the historic building thanks to dynamic SageGlass® and its ability to tint on demand. 

McDonough Hall is one of the original buildings constructed on the Naval Academy campus and today serves as an athletic facility. When the metal roof required replacement, the Navy saw an opportunity to bring daylight to the dreary interior by adding more skylights. But Navy architect Tony Freitag wanted to go one step further: he sought to improve the building’s energy performance and maximize daylighting by replacing the metal roof with one made of glass.

“The challenge was, if we made an all-glass roof, how would we avoid ‘poaching the people inside of the building,’ so to speak. The space is already hot and humid, so controlling solar heat gain was a major concern,” Freitag said.

External solar shades were ruled out because of the Hall’s historic architectural significance. Mechanized internal shades or blinds also did not make sense due to the roof’s hard-to-reach location and the fact that they would negate the purpose of the glass roof.

Freitag and his team ran some initial building energy calculations based on using electrochromic glass and discovered it would reduce the building’s HVAC cooling requirements by at least 18 percent.

“I took those findings all the way up the chain of command and presented the idea of using dynamic glass. That’s how a simple little project of fixing a leaky roof turned into a sustainable, money-saving, cutting-edge renovation that helps out the whole eco-system of the building,” Freitag said.

SageGlass is electronically tintable dynamic glass that maximizes daylight and outdoor views in buildings while controlling glare and heat gain. The glass can darken or clear automatically or manually to save energy and help keep building occupants continuously comfortable throughout the day. 

Those who have experienced the space since the addition of the SageGlass skylight have expressed enthusiasm about the improved atmosphere. “This part of the building was once the old exterior façade with beautiful big stone arches that were filled with windows. When those windows were removed and a new roof and wall installed, the space lost a lot of its charm and brightness. The SageGlass skylight creates a bright space with natural light and enhances the daylight in adjacent spaces as well. Everyone I’ve talked to, including the athletic department and military leaders, believe it’s a vast improvement,” Freitag said.

While the McDonough Hall renovation has been recently commissioned with SageGlass, the project made its public debut October 5, during the Navy/Air Force football game. School officials have programmed the panes of SageGlass to spell out “GO NAVY” for the sporting world to see. The ability to program the glass to spell out a customized message is an added side-benefit of SageGlass.

Photos of SAGE projects can be found at: https://www.sageglass.com/en/case-studies

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