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Award-winning University of Kansas Center for Design Research achieves beauty and sustainability design goals with SageGlass

 
01.10.12

The University of Kansas’ School of Architecture has used SageGlass® dynamic glass to achieve a sleek, energy-efficient curtain wall design while controlling the sun’s harmful effects in its new award-winning Center for Design Research (CDR) building.

SageGlass is dynamic window glazing that electronically changes tint throughout the day to control daylight while maintaining the view to the outdoors. It was used to construct a butt-glazed curtain wall that forms most of the CDR building’s south facade.

The stone-and-glass facility, which was designed and built by students, is a model of sustainability. It recently won an Acknowledgement Award in the prestigious 2011 Holcim Award for Energy Efficient projects in North America. The CDR was also designed to LEED® Platinum standards, and is one of the first commercial buildings in North America to seek PassivHaus certification.

The CDR is located on a former farm in the school’s west campus and serves as a collaborative research facility for students and faculty. Its mission is to foster innovation in energy-efficient building design and small-scale energy technologies, as well as development of smart devices, systems and applications.

Studio 804 selected SageGlass for both its design aesthetics and functionality, according to Dan Rockhill, a J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture and the project’s leader. “We wanted to create a taut exterior glass skin to emphasize the building’s stone construction and to fit in with the architectural vernacular of the other stone buildings on the farm,” Rockhill said. “SageGlass enabled us to achieve that design goal. It eliminated the need to install louvers to shade the south facade and prevent overheating. It also helped us achieve LEED points by reducing our artificial lighting requirements.”

In addition to preventing excessive heat gain and fading in warm seasons, the SageGlass curtain wall fronts a 10-inch-thick (25.4 centimeters) masonry Trombe wall which absorbs the sun’s rays to provide much of the building’s heat during the winter.

SageGlass changes tint automatically according to the sun’s position throughout the year using a GPS coordinated control system. Occupants can also change the SageGlass tint on demand with the press of a button.

“SageGlass worked beautifully for our design concept. It was cost-effective too, eliminating the extra expenses of constructing, installing and maintaining exterior louvers. We’re very happy with our choice,” Rockhill added.

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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