FAQs

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about SageGlass

If you have a question that is not answered by our FAQs, check out our “Products” page to learn more about dynamic glass.

  • What is SageGlass?

    SageGlass is a leading electronically tintable glass for windows, skylights and curtain walls. It tints automatically or on demand to control sunlight, without shades or blinds, maintaining your connection to the outdoors and reducing energy consumption. The technical term is electrochromic glass or dynamic glass. 

  • What is SageGlass for?

    SageGlass maximizes interior daylight, preserves views and keeps people connected to the outdoors, making them happier, healthier and smarter. SageGlass also saves energy by harnessing the sun’s warming rays in winter and deflecting them on hot summer days.

  • Is SageGlass better suited to some types of buildings?

    SageGlass has been incorporated into a wide variety of commercial buildings and is a good fit for any project where controlling the sun is a challenge. Some of the leading types of projects where SageGlass has been used include commercial offices, schools and universities, healthcare facilities, cultural institutions, government facilities and skylights in a wide variety of buildings.

  • Why should I consider electrochromic glass instead of conventional glass or solar control solutions?

    Electrochromic glass such as SageGlass is energy-efficient and it removes the need for shading devices that can block our view of the outdoors and are less sustainable. Buildings are arguably our country’s greatest energy liability. They consume nearly 40 percent of our total energy and 68 percent of our electricity while emitting 38 percent of CO2 into the atmosphere annually. Energy lost through conventional windows accounts for approximately 30 percent of heating and cooling energy, according to the US Department of Energy. Shades, blinds, louvers, fins or other mechanized sun control devices sever our connection to the outdoors and add to a building’s environmental impact. Prior to SageGlass, there was no viable way to provide natural daylight and an outdoor view while simultaneously controlling glare, heat gain and energy use. Now there is.

    Learn about how SageGlass has been helping government buildings meet energy-efficiency and worker comfort requirements.

  • Does SageGlass require power?

    It takes less electricity to operate 2,000 square feet (186 square meters) of SageGlass than it does to power a single 60-watt light bulb. Learn how SageGlass Works

  • What is the largest available size of SageGlass?

    The largest size is 5 feet by 10 feet (1524 mm x 3048 mm). Learn more about the design possibilities of SageGlass. 

  • How can I use SageGlass?

    SageGlass has been incorporated into a wide variety of commercial, institutional and even selected residential buildings—anywhere you’d like to bring in daylight, keep people comfortable, and give them an uninterrupted outdoor view and connection to the outdoors. Because it conserves energy, SageGlass is ideal for sustainable buildings. It also prevents fading, which protects interior spaces. Here are some particularly good matches for SageGlass: 

  • Can I “set it and forget it?”

    Yes, SageGlass can be tinted and cleared automatically, manually or integrated with a building automation system.  But you always have the ability to manually over-ride the automatic settings by a wall switch if so desired. Learn more about the control system.

  • Does SageGlass help protect my interior against sun damage?

    Yes, when tinted, SageGlass blocks 98 percent of the solar radiation that causes fading and also ensures occupant comfort by providing more natural light. 

  • What’s not sustainable about traditional solar control products?

    When you factor in all the materials, manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance and operational energy they consume, the carbon footprint gets pretty significant. That’s a big concern if you’re striving for a sustainable building. SageGlass is a green technology that can conserve energy and increase a building’s value. Learn more about Sustainability

  • Is SageGlass available in more than one color?

    Yes – SageGlass is available in a variety of colors to complement your design or building. Please contact a SageGlass representative to discuss the best fit for your project. Learn more about the design possibilities of SageGlass. 

  • Can you match SageGlass with other glass in my building?

    Whether dynamic or traditional, two pieces of glass from different sources rarely match exactly. When glass from multiple sources is installed in separate areas of a building, which happens a lot, slight mismatches are often undetectable. When there is no separation on the building between the two types of glass, you can order SageGlass in a color that complements the adjacent glass.

  • Do SageGlass products provide privacy?

    SageGlass is not privacy glass.  It provides some privacy since it transmits less than 1 percent of the visible light in its darkest state. SageGlass uses switchable technology so it can be tinted or cleared, easily. When the glass is fully tinted on a sunny day, it’s nearly impossible to see through the glass from the outside. But since SageGlass windows and skylights are intended to preserve outdoor views, they don’t provide 100 percent privacy in any state.  

  • What shapes are available?

    We offer rectangles, squares, parallelograms, trapezoids and triangles. We are continuing to expand our product line, however, so email or call our Architectural Solutions group to explore the availability of a particular shape.

  • Do SageGlass windows and skylights help me get LEED credits?

    Yes, SageGlass can help your project earn up to thirty-seven LEED credits in five categories.

  • Where has SageGlass been installed?

    We have completed over 700 installations since our first commercial project in a hospital in California in 2003.  Our glass has been installed in healthcare facilities, offices, schools and homes since 2003. We have projects throughout the United States, Europe and elsewhere. See our portfolio for examples.

  • Are SageGlass products considered “low-emissivity”?

    Yes, the SageGlass coating has a low-e surface, so it provides all of the advantages of a spectrally selective low-e product (even in its clear, untinted state). Low-e coatings help keep heat in when it’s cold outside, and keep it out when it’s hot.

  • Is there a warranty on SageGlass products?

    We warranty the SageGlass IGU for up to 10 years depending on the building application; the electronics, electrochromic functionality and coatings carry a five-year warranty. For full details on our product warranties, email or call our Architecture Solutions group. Read more about our Limited Warranty

     

  • What happens if a SageGlass pane gets broken?

    SageGlass IGUs are easy to replace. If the glass gets broken, it can be deglazed just as ordinary glass would be, and simply unplugged. Typically, a new IGU can be installed and reconnected to the low-voltage wiring via a simple snap connector in the glazing pocket.

  • How does SageGlass technology work?

    We coat SageGlass panes with five layers of ceramic materials for a total thickness of less than 1/50th that of a human hair. When voltage is applied across the coatings, ions travel from one layer to another layer, prompting a reversible solid-state change that causes the coating to tint and absorb light. In other words, the glass gets darker. Reversing the polarity of the applied voltage causes the ions to migrate back to their original layer, untinting the glass. Still curious? To learn more, read about how dynamic glass works and switchable technology, or please contact a SageGlass representative to learn more.

  • How is SageGlass manufactured?

    We use a vacuum deposition process called “sputtering” to coat conventional float glass with layers of metal oxides. This is the same process used to make low-e and double low-e glass. The coated SageGlass pane is then paired with one or two more pieces of glass (clear, tinted or laminated) and one or two spacers to make a double-pane or triple-pane insulating glass unit (IGU). Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is located in Faribault, Minnesota. Tours are available for prospective customers.

  • Are there intermediate tint levels?

    Yes, with the SageGlass control system, you can select preset tint levels between the low and high ends of the glass’s dynamic range (1 percent – 60 percent). You can also program the SageGlass control system to maintain a constant light level inside the space throughout the day. In this case, sensors integrated with the framing will tell the glass how to respond to changing light conditions outside.

  • What control system options are available?

    SageGlass comes with a standard panel-mounted control system. You can operate it via a simple wall switch, our automation system, or a building automation system that is controlling lighting, energy use, audiovisual equipment and security. When integrated with a building automation system, you can control SageGlass windows, skylights and curtain wall elements by inputs from timers, light sensors, motion sensors, lighting control, thermostats and more. Our newest control system options allow for mutli-zone tinting, for even greater control and customization.

  • Can I control SageGlass wirelessly?

    Yes, when you integrate it with a building automation system, SageGlass adopts that system’s remote control capabilities. In 2013, the CEO of SageGlass discussed this wireless technology more at the Greenbuild Conference.

  • How fast does the tint level change?

    An average-sized pane of SageGlass transitions across 90% of its dynamic range (from clear to tinted or from tinted to clear) in 7-12 minutes. The switching speed depends on a number of factors, including the ambient temperature and glass size: The warmer it is outside, the faster the glass transitions. Larger panes take longer than smaller panes to fully transition. Also, keep in mind that in day-to-day use the glass often changes in smaller increments (e.g., from one intermediate state to the next lighter or darker state) rather than from fully clear to fully tinted, so the transition takes less time.

  • How does the cost of SageGlass compare with low-e insulated glass?

    Total cost of ownership for SageGlass is generally equivalent or lower because in most installations, we eliminate the need for shading systems and the many associated costs. SageGlass also helps you reduce your energy costs (meaning smaller HVAC systems running less often). So while we may cost more when you compare us on a glass-to-glass basis, you’re looking at apples versus oranges. The most important thing is the people factor. We don’t know how to quantify the many benefits of preserving the view and connection to the outdoors — which is the reason we put glass in buildings in the first place.

  • What happens when a building has a power outage?

    When power is removed, SageGlass reverts to a clear (untinted) state over a period of an hour or two.

  • What is the dynamic range of the glass?

    SageGlass can be varied from 60 percent visible light transmission in its clear state down to 1 percent in its tinted state, with a solar heat gain coefficient that varies from 0.41 on the high end to 0.09 on the low end. Learn how the dynamic range affects both light transmission and solar heat gain.

  • Where in the IGU is the SageGlass coating?

    In most applications, it is on the inside surface of the electrochromic lite. In this location, the SageGlass coating blocks solar heat before it enters the building, meaning there’s significantly less heat for the HVAC system to cool. By contrast, shades and blinds do not block heat from entering buildings through traditional windows. You might not feel heat directly if shades are drawn, but the heat still gets in and must be tempered by air conditioning.

  • Has SageGlass technology been independently tested? How durable is it?

    SageGlass technology has undergone rigorous performance and durability testing by independent third parties, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and leaders in the glass fabricating and OEM skylight industry. SageGlass IGUs were the first products to pass the ASTM E-2141-06 (Standard Test Methods for Assessing the Durability of Absorptive Electrochromic Coatings on Sealed Insulating Glass Units). In fact, SageGlass technology survived over 100,000 cycles of accelerated environmental durability testing. That’s twice the test standard and equivalent to switching a window nine times per day for 365 days/year over a 30-year lifetime, according to the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Learn more about SageGlass' durability and reliability.

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