Two cutting-edge research facilities of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have installed SageGlass® to help serve as a model for daylighting and energy-efficient construction.
NREL’s Zero Energy Research Support Facility (RSF) and the soon-to-be-completed Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) in Golden, Colo., are using SageGlass as part of a living laboratory to help buildings conserve energy and create more comfortable, productive indoor environments.
SageGlass was installed in both facilities to evaluate and showcase the energy efficiency and daylight control advantages of electrochromic glazing technology. SageGlass is electronically tintable dynamic glass that maximizes daylight and outdoor views in buildings while controlling solar glare and heat gain. The glass can darken and clear on demand or automatically using sensors to help keep NREL staff comfortable.
“The essence of energy efficiency isn’t simply about being ‘green’ – it is about cost savings and smart resource use,” said Erin Whitney, staff scientist at NREL. “Intelligent solar-managed windows are a simple yet effective way to reduce energy consumption while retaining our Rocky Mountain views and the architectural integrity of the buildings.”
The RSF accommodates more than 800 staff and an energy-efficient data center. The ESIF will house about 200 NREL scientists and engineers working in 15 state-of-the-art laboratories. A key design objective for both facilities was to take maximum advantage of external views and optimize daylight while controlling the intense sunlight and glare. NREL incorporated this goal into a whole-building integrated design process so the facilities could serve as a model for cost-competitive, high-performance commercial buildings.
Since its installation in the RSF building, SageGlass has worked as intended, according to Ron Judkoff, principal lab program manager at NREL. “The occupants who reside next to the electrochromic windows in the NREL Zero Energy Research Support Facility (RSF) building report that they enjoy the ability to control glare while maintaining access to the view and daylight,” he said.
About SAGE Electrochromics, Inc.
SAGE Electrochromics is the world’s leading manufacturer of advanced dynamic glass that can be tinted or cleared to optimize daylight and improve the human experience in buildings. SageGlass controls the sunlight and heat that enter a building, significantly reducing energy consumption while improving people’s comfort and well-being. SageGlass 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. Now celebrating its 10th year anniversary shipping commercial SageGlass, the company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered near Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., in the heart of “the Silicon Valley of the window industry.” SAGE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Paris, the world’s largest building materials company.
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