The high-volume facility that manufactures dynamically tintable SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, has achieved Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating system. SAGE announced the news at the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) national convention in Chicago, which took place June 26-28.
The 320,000-sq-ft facility, located in Faribault, Minn., opened in late 2012 and has been producing SageGlass for a number of high-visibility projects, including the General Services Administration (GSA) headquarters in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Naval Academy’s retrofit of historical McDonough Hall, and Hamilton Garden Terrace in the Philadelphia’s iconic Kimmel Center. In addition, the plant has manufactured glass for numerous other projects, including commercial office buildings, schools and universities, and healthcare facilities. The plant is reportedly the largest electrochromic glazing facility in the world, capable of annually producing several million square feet of dynamic glass.
Sustainable building practices overseen by the project’s general contractor, Ryan Companies US, Inc., helped the facility earn points toward its LEED Gold certification. The facility construction process earned points for diverting 50% of construction materials from landfills and the use of recycled and regionally sourced materials, among other measures.
“At Ryan, we are continually focused on sustainable building practices and are extremely proud to be involved with a project where energy efficiency and sustainability were key design goals,” said Collin Barr, president of Ryan Companies North Central Region. “What makes this project even more gratifying is that we were able to feature the truly innovative SageGlass window and glazing products in our customer’s own glass manufacturing facility. There’s definitely a ‘wow’ factor with the SageGlass window systems.”
LHB, Inc., a Minn.-based engineering and architectural firm, designed the high-volume production facility to be a model of green manufacturing, incorporating a number of innovations that reportedly improve energy efficiency, as well as the health, comfort and happiness of employees.
“The SageGlass plant is a combination of aesthetics and utility,” said Bruce Cornwall, director of Design at LHB. “With SAGE and Saint-Gobain’s commitment to sustainability, the project achieved LEED Gold, which is unusual for a manufacturing facility.” “Having used the SageGlass product for a previous project, I was familiar with its many environmental and energy-savings benefits and was delighted to work with them to bring this new facility to life.”
The USGBC’s LEED rating system tracks a variety of sustainability metrics in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a building. The SageGlass facility earned LEED points toward Gold certification for, among other features, its efficient use of water; the limiting of light pollution; and attention to indoor environmental quality, including abundant use of daylighting and access to outside views for occupants.
“We are pleased to recognize SAGE’s new high-volume manufacturing plant as a LEED Gold facility and the commitment to sustainability it represents by the company and its parent, Saint-Gobain,” said Sheri Brezinka, executive director of the USGBC Minnesota chapter. “Not only is SageGlass an important product for greener buildings, but now the facility where it is manufactured reflects those same high principles of environmental responsibility and economic viability. We applaud everyone involved and see the new plant as a fine example of sustainable design, as well as a great place to work.”