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Saint Paul RiverCentre continues sustainability mission with installation of SageGlass dynamic glass

Jan. 28, 2014

Saint Paul RiverCentre in Minnesota is using dynamic glass from SAGE to save energy, improve occupant comfort and preserve the view to one of the city’s most historic downtown parks.  

Saint Paul RiverCentre is the city’s premier convention center and part of a complex that includes Xcel Energy Center arena and The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium.  In addition to its Grand Ballroom, Saint Paul RiverCentre offers numerous meeting rooms, many with beautiful views of downtown Saint Paul. The organization installed SageGlass® electronically tintable glass on the east side of its boardroom to solve solar glare and heat gain problems without compromising the view that attracts customers.

The SageGlass installation is part of Saint Paul RiverCentre’s unique sustainability initiative called “80-20 in 3.” The initiative, which began in April 2010, aimed to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by 80 percent and improve energy efficiency by 20 percent in three years. Saint Paul RiverCentre previously had challenges managing the heat buildup in the boardroom when it was unoccupied, causing the HVAC system to waste energy. Managing the daylight and shading for presentations, videos and meetings was also a major concern. The organization used mechanized shades to temper the sun with unsatisfactory results, according to Patrick Reeves, Director of Sustainability Programming at Progressive Associates, who manages sustainability programs for Saint Paul RiverCentre, Xcel Energy Center and Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

“Saint Paul RiverCentre is known for being passionate about creating the best experiences imaginable for its guests, and that includes providing a setting that is a model of sustainable practices,” Reeves said. “Previously, two types of mechanical shades were used to block out the sun or provide filtered sunlight that never really worked well and blocked the view to historic Rice Park. In addition to energy efficiency, we selected SageGlass to create a better experience for the people indoors by maintaining that connection to the outdoors even when the sun’s rays are harshest.” 

SageGlass contributes to Saint Paul RiverCentre’s sustainability goal by modulating light, heat gain and glare while maximizing daylight. Using light sensors, the dynamic glazing automatically tints or clears within minutes, significantly reducing energy consumed for air conditioning, heating and lighting.

“We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve our sustainable practices,” said Jim Ibister, Vice President and General Manager of Saint Paul RiverCentre. “Finding partners with cutting-edge solutions like SageGlass helps us continue to progress on our journey to serve as regional leaders in sustainability.”

Saint Paul RiverCentre is one of the first commercial deployments of larger-sized SageGlass, made possible by SAGE’s new 324,000-square-foot high-volume manufacturing facility. It is the world’s largest and most advanced dynamic glass manufacturing plant, able to produce SageGlass in high volumes and in larger commercial architectural sizes at an affordable cost.

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