The new Ajo Border Patrol Station on the Arizona/Mexico border has achieved LEED® Gold certification thanks in part to its ability to control the desert sun’s extreme heat gain and glare using advanced dynamic glass from SAGE.
The 59,900-square-foot facility, which opened in September 2012, accommodates approximately 360 personnel who patrol more than 64 miles of the nation’s border. The facility was contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth, in support of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The contract was managed by the Los Angeles District. Electronically tintable SageGlass® was installed in the building’s eastern and western window openings, where the sun’s exposure is most severe.
The U.S. Border Patrol specifies that all new stations must achieve LEED Silver as a minimum green building qualification. Global architectural/engineering firm HDR Inc., who designed and built the facility, employed a variety of advanced technologies such as SageGlass, solar hot water, integrated PV panels and storm water pollution prevention systems to improve the building’s LEED rating to Gold.
HDR evaluated other sun controls, such as mechanized shades, but selected SageGlass because it provided a more automated solution with less complexity and moving parts, according to Mathew Perkins, project manager at HDR. “We needed a glazing solution with high thermal value that would significantly reduce the energy load on the building during the hot times of the day. SageGlass’ ability to electronically change tint in response to the sun was particularly appealing because we could automate it to control the sun, and power it using our solar PV system.”
SageGlass is electronically tintable dynamic glass for windows, skylights and curtain walls that tints or clears to modulate light, heat gain and glare. SageGlass controls the sun without blocking sunlight and views, enhancing occupant comfort and saving energy, yet it is cost competitive with other solar control methods (such as shades, blinds and louvers) and requires no maintenance.
SageGlass’ unique technology was a key decision factor for HDR. The Ajo Border Patrol Station was designed to serve as a showcase facility for advanced energy-efficient technologies that will be used in future Patrol Station projects.
HDR wanted to create a comfortable and productive work environment for the occupants while also maintaining a connection to the outdoor landscape. SageGlass’ ability to control the sun without blocking the view achieved this design objective. “When you enter the rooms it still feels natural with great views to the outdoors. Shading devices would have created a disconnected feeling we didn’t want. SageGlass provides a natural way to reduce the heat load in the room while maintaining the outside view,” said Perkins.
In addition to the Ajo Border Patrol project, SAGE also recently announced that SageGlass will be installed at another government border facility – the Donna-Rio Bravo U.S. Land Port of Entry in Texas, a Green Proving Ground project to evaluate new technologies to reduce energy in federal buildings. John Van Dine, SAGE founder and CEO says: “We are pleased that our technology is helping the U.S. Border Patrol in their mission to keep U.S. borders safe, and the Government Services Administration to achieve its energy efficiency goals for federal buildings.”
Please visit SAGE at Booth # 4353N at the upcoming Greenbuild show in San Francisco Nov. 14-16.
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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