Saint-Gobain North American Headquarters, Malvern (USA)
Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, wanted to transform an existing structure into a LEED®-certified facility for both Saint-Gobain’s North American headquarters and its construction materials subsidiary, CertainTeed Corporation.
The $80 million redevelopment project would be a state-of-the-art corporate headquarters that would showcase the companies’ products in a live “learning lab” and become the only commercial building in the state with a LEED Platinum certified interior and exterior. The 320,000-square-foot campus would be situated on 65 acres in Malvern, Pa. on a beautiful wooded campus that had formerly housed a corporate headquarters, but had been vacant for over 15 years.
“Saint-Gobain products are found in workplaces all over the world, and we are excited to demonstrate how our products create a better workplace experience for our more than 800 employees that will work in the new headquarters,” said John Crowe, president and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations.
Overall, the project was intended to establish a next-generation workplace that maximizes employee comfort, daylighting, and air quality through the use of innovative building materials from the Saint-Gobain portfolio. One challenge in this regard was a curtain wall within the current structure that was very energy-inefficient and blocked exterior views.
SageGlass®, a Saint-Gobain product, was selected for its ability to dynamically control sunlight, optimize daylight, maintain outdoor views and enhance comfort by preventing glare and solar heat. SageGlass solved the significant solar control challenges while creating a visually stunning and energy-efficient multi-story curtain wall that includes the building’s western and southern façades, where sunlight is most intensive.
SageGlass is electronically tintable glass that maximizes daylight and outdoor views in buildings while controlling glare and heat gain. It plays an integral role in helping Saint-Gobain achieve its sustainability goals for the new headquarters, while creating a next-generation workplace that puts employee comfort first.
In fact, the structure features 17,000 square feet of SageGlass, making it one of the larger installations of electrochromic glass to date. By controlling sunlight, SageGlass significantly reduces energy demand and the need for larger HVAC systems, while increasing employee comfort.
While reducing energy consumption and sun glare were key objectives in the redesign, preserving an outdoor connection to the scenic 65-acre campus — which includes woods, fields, a pond and a stream — for the benefit of employees was another reason for specifying SageGlass, according to architect Neil Liebman, principal of Bernadon, the firm that designed the structure’s exterior.
“The ability to have natural outdoor spaces that are complementary to the interior was important to the design,” Liebman said. “SageGlass blocks the more harmful aspects of the sun without spoiling the connection to the outdoor natural environment. This was my first time working with SageGlass, and I think it’s an amazing glazing technology. I was excited about the opportunity to integrate it into the design.”
Additional Information on Saint-Gobain North American Headquarters
SageGlass blocks the more harmful aspects of the sun without spoiling the connection to the outdoor natural environment. This was my first time working with SageGlass, and I think it’s an amazing glazing technology. I was excited about the opportunity to integrate it into the design.
Neil Liebman, PrincipalBernardon