YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School (USA)

The Challenge:

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School houses YouthBuild Philadelphia, a program which provides former out-of-school young adults with the opportunity to learn green building skills while earning their high school equivalences and industry recognized credentials. SageGlass’ parent company, Saint-Gobain, has had a national partnership with YouthBuild USA since December 2010, in support of YouthBuild’s green job training program in areas where the company has business concentrations, including Worcester, Mass.; Canton, Ohio; Schenectady, N.Y., and Philadelphia, Pa.

On the fifth floor of the Charter School, two of the program’s classrooms and its computer lab suffered from extreme glare in the early morning hours when the sun beat down on the façade of the building. Students in the classrooms expressed an inability to concentrate due to heat gain and glare and would even place large sheets of paper over the windows to reduce glare in order to focus, obstructing their views of the outdoors. In the computer lab, students complained about glare on computer screens and the need to squint to complete their coursework.

To provide students with a more comfortable indoor environment conducive to academic success, YouthBuild Philadelphia staff realized they needed a solar control solution, aligned with the program’s sustainability focus, which would prevent heat gain and glare while allowing students to concentrate and maintain access to outdoor views.

The Solution:

As part of Saint-Gobain’s national partnership with YouthBuild USA, Saint-Gobain business units donate their sustainable building materials to provide YouthBuild students with the opportunity to work with industry-leading building materials and technologies so they graduate from the program prepared to fill careers in the industry. SageGlass offered to donate its dynamic glass to YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School to provide students with the opportunity to work with SageGlass’ high-tech dynamic glass and learn more about the dynamic glazing industry and how SageGlass helps make educational facilities more comfortable while increasing buildings’ overall sustainability.

SageGlass partnered with glazing contractor, Eureka Metal & Glass Services, Inc., to install 3.5 ft. by 6 ft. pieces of SageGlass in the two classrooms and the computer lab to prevent heat gain and glare and provide students with a classroom and computer lab environment that enhanced their ability to concentrate. Prior to the installation, representatives from SageGlass held a lunch-and-learn and educated students about dynamic glass technology and how SageGlass is able to tint on-demand to adapt to the sun’s rays.

A select group of students was then given the opportunity to work alongside glazing contractors to help install SageGlass in all three rooms while learning about careers in the manufacturing and construction industries. Recent YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School graduate, Jerome Kinard, who now works as a glazing apprentice at Eureka Metal & Glass Services, Inc. was also on-site to assist with the installation and tell YouthBuild students about how he was able to secure a career in the industry as a result of Saint-Gobain’s partnership with YouthBuild.

The Benefits:

As a result of the SageGlass installation, YouthBuild Philadelphia students are now able to focus in a classroom environment free from heat gain and glare while enjoying access to outdoor views without the need for blinds and shades which constantly need to be adjusted and cleaned by staff in order to prevent dust accumulation. Students no longer have to hang up pieces of paper over the windows to block out harsh sunlight coming into the classroom in the early morning hours and have reported being better able to listen to their instructors and concentrate on their studies. In the computer lab, students no longer experience glare on their computer screens and are able to complete their coursework without having to squint to read their notes. Students shared that before the SageGlass installation, they would oftentimes have to cover their eyes in order to see the computer screen or would bring in their own devices from home in order to prevent glare. Following the installation, students are now able to utilize the computer lab as it was originally intentioned.

Learn more about how SageGlass dynamic glass enhances the outdoor connection >>


LOCATION:Philadelphia, PA

GLAZING CONTRACTOR: Eureka Metal & Glass Services, Inc

ELECTRICIAN/TECHNICIAN: Hatzel & Buehler Bluestone Communications.



Video Case Study:Click to View

The way we can adjust the SageGlass to get darker or lighter when we need it made a more comfortable space for us to learn because now we’re worried about what we need to learn instead of why is it so bright in here.

Anthony Miller, Advanced Construction Track YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School Student

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