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Saint-Gobain’s SageGlass high-volume manufacturing facility achieves LEED Gold certification

World’s largest electrochromic glass plant earns LEED Gold with help from general contractor Ryan Companies and architectural firm LHB

Jun. 24, 2014

The high-volume facility that manufactures dynamically tintable SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, has achieved Gold certification under the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating system. SAGE announced the news at the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) national convention in Chicago taking place June 26-28.

The 320,000-square-foot facility, located in Faribault, Minnesota, opened in late 2012 and has been producing SageGlass for a number of high-visibility projects including the General Services Administration (GSA) headquarters in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Naval Academy’s retrofit of historical McDonough Hall, and Hamilton Garden Terrace in the Philadelphia’s iconic Kimmel Center. In addition, the plant has manufactured glass for numerous other projects including commercial office buildings, schools and universities, and healthcare facilities. The plant is the largest electrochromic glazing facility in the world, capable of annually producing several million square feet of dynamic glass.

Sustainable building practices overseen by the project’s general contractor, Ryan Companies US, Inc., helped the facility earn points toward its LEED Gold certification. The facility construction process earned points for diverting 50 percent of construction materials from landfills, use of recycled and regionally sourced materials, among other measures.

“At Ryan we are continually focused on sustainable building practices and are extremely proud to be involved with a project where energy efficiency and sustainability were key design goals,” said Collin Barr, president of Ryan Companies North Central Region. “What makes this project even more gratifying is that we were able to feature the truly innovative SageGlass window and glazing products in our customer’s own glass manufacturing facility. There’s definitely a ‘wow’ factor with the SageGlass window systems.”

LHB, Inc., a Minnesota-based engineering and architectural firm, designed the high-volume production facility to be a model of green manufacturing, incorporating a number of innovations that improve energy efficiency as well as the health, comfort and happiness of employees.

“The SageGlass plant is a combination of aesthetics and utility. With SAGE and Saint-Gobain’s commitment to sustainability the project achieved LEED Gold, which is unusual for a manufacturing facility,” said Bruce Cornwall, Director of Design at LHB. “Having used the SageGlass product for a previous project, I was familiar with its many environmental and energy-savings benefits and was delighted to work with them to bring this new facility to life.”

The USGBC’s LEED rating system tracks a variety of sustainability metrics in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a building. The SageGlass facility earned LEED points toward Gold certification for, among other features, its efficient use of water, limiting of light pollution, and attention to indoor environmental quality including abundant use of daylighting and access to outside views for occupants.

“We are pleased to recognize SAGE’s new high-volume manufacturing plant as a LEED Gold facility and the commitment to sustainability it represents by the company and its parent, Saint-Gobain,” said Sheri Brezinka, executive director of the USGBC Minnesota chapter. “Not only is SageGlass an important product for greener buildings, but now the facility where it is manufactured reflects those same high principles of environmental responsibility and economic viability. We applaud everyone involved and see the new plant as a fine example of sustainable design as well as a great place to work.”

About Ryan Companies US, Inc.
Ryan Companies US, Inc. is a 3rd generation, family-owned national developer, designer, capital investment consultant, builder and real estate manager specializing in fully integrated solutions for more than 75 years. Key market sectors include: retail, distribution, and health care; and product experience includes work on office, retail, mixed use, hospitality, multi-family housing, industrial, medical office building, senior housing, distribution center, public sector, and mission critical facilities.  Ryan serves customers throughout the United States with offices in the NorthCentral, Midwest, Great Lakes, SouthEast, SouthCentral and SouthWest regions. For more information, visit www.ryancompanies.com.

About LHB 
LHB is a multi-disciplinary engineering, architecture, and planning firm known for our design leadership and loyalty to clients. LHB goes beyond good intentions and focuses on measurable performance. We are experts in public works, pipeline, industrial, housing, healthcare, government, education, and commercial design. LHB is dedicated to being environmentally responsible, reducing long term operating costs, and improving the quality of life for our clients. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Bill Bennett, Bill.Bennett [at] LHBcorp.com or visit www.LHBcorp.com.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational resources found at Education @USGBC, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org, explore the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) and connect on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

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