SageGlass is like Sun Glasses for Your Building
- Jan 22, 2013
By Michael Ratliff, Associate Editor
Sunlight is a huge amenity to your residents. Here in New York, apartment ads on Craigslist tout units that are so bright you can catch a tan, when in reality it means that not all your windows are facing brick walls. But light is important, especially in cities where any connection to the outdoors is welcome. Modern apartment designs obviously know what their renters are after, and floor-to-ceiling windows are an exceptional amenity—in theory.
Uncontrolled direct sunlight can be a nuisance for watching television or working on a computer due to glare. Excessive heat can also raise your residents’ utility bills in warmer months. Sure, you can recommend they use shades or blinds, but that is a nuisance and it severs the connection to the outdoors that windows achieve in the first place. Thankfully, there is a solution and it is called dynamic glass.
Dynamic glass has been around for some time. It is essentially glass with varying opacity. There are controllable and non-controllable versions. Non-controllable responds to external environmental input (i.e. temperature), while controllable glass can tint and clear on demand, either manually or in-line with your building’s automation system.
Minnesota-based SAGE Electrochromics has been a leader in tintable glass since its foundation as an R&D company in 1989. Its glass modulates both incoming light and heat from the sun all while preserving the view. Think of the glaze-like invisible sunglasses that can be switched on or off. The glass incorporates nanotechnology consisting of five layers of ceramic materials that when added up are 50 times thinner than a human hair. When voltage is applied, the materials darken. A reversed polarity brings the glass back to its clear state. If this extra energy is a concern, take into consideration that it takes less electricity to operate 2,000 square feet of SageGlass than it does to operate a single 60-watt bulb.
Recent advancements to SageGlass technology include the world’s first dynamic glass window that has variable tint zones on a single pane of electrochromatic glass. The new SageGlass Control System allows building operators to tint in three different sections on the same pane of glass, and each section can be set to any available tint level. The control system begins shipping the first quarter of 2013, and can integrate into popular building automation network standards and protocols like BACnet and LonTalk.
In addition to the ‘wow’ factor, SageGlass can help your community quality for LEED certification, and it can reduce a property’s cooling load by 20 percent and HVAC requirements by up to 30 percent. The glass is available in many popular windows as well as through custom orders. For more information, or to contact a sales rep, visit SAGE’s website.