Immanuel Bible Church (USA)

The challenge

Located in a suburban area of Fairfax County, Immanuel Bible Church recently completed a multimillion-dollar building expansion that was initiated in 2009. The centerpiece of the project
is a 7,800-square-foot multipurpose atrium that will be used as a gathering space, theater and conference hall, as well as overflow seating during worship services.

The atrium requires precise lighting control during a wide range of events, from fellowship and conversation to performances and ministry promotions. The only problem is that the atrium features six rows of nearly inaccessible clerestory windows situated 58 feet from the floor. Fortunately, this is exactly the kind of architectural challenge SageGlass® is designed to solve.


The solution

In most cases, the atrium’s clerestory windows would have been fitted with traditional sun controls. But Executive Director and project manager Ron Urice knew this was not a viable alternative. Not only are the windows difficult to access, many are parallelogram-shaped, which makes fitting them with blinds or shades a nearly impossible—or at least, an extremely costly—proposition.

“Blinds wouldn’t have fit in well, and mechanized shades would have required rigging and expensive maintenance in addition to blocking out all the sun,” he said. “SageGlass is cost-competitive with traditional sun controls while offering the promise of much less maintenance.”

SageGlass is electronically controlled dynamic glass that tints and clears on demand, or automatically as light conditions change. At Immanuel Bible Church, it is glazed into the atrium’s clerestory windows and has two intermediate states in addition to the fully clear and darkened states.



While the church’s building committee was initially attracted to the room-dimming capabilities of SageGlass during early design meetings, decision-makers also quickly recognized its energy-saving potential as well.

“We expect building operating costs to be lower because we’ll use less electricity to light the space,” Urice said, adding that lower maintenance expenses are also anticipated. “There is no need to replace or repair shades and blinds,” he said. 

With its combination of room darkening capabilities, energy efficiency, glare reduction and ease of maintenance, SageGlass was the ideal solar control solution for the unique needs of the Immanuel Bible Church.

LOCATION:Springfield, Virginia

PROJECT:Facility Expansion

ARCHITECT:Helbing Lipp Ltd.

Blinds wouldn’t have fit in well, while mechanized shades would have required rigging, expensive maintenance, and blocked out all of the sun. SageGlass was cost competitive with these traditional sun controls, while offering the promise of much less maintenance requirements.

Ron Urice, Project ManagerImmanuel Bible Church

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