By Kodi Coe, Director of Interiors/SPG at Skanska USA Building Inc.
Unique to AGU’s headquarters building design are hundreds of strategies—small to large—meant to recover energy that a typical building does not have. Some of these are personal efforts, like helping staff transition to a more energy-efficient work lifestyle, while others are sustainable materials built into the design, like the installation of energy-saving SageGlass over a large footprint of the building.
SageGlass, the world’s leading manufacturer of electronically tintable glass, employs an innovative technology that allows windows to be tinted or clear on demand using exterior sensors which determine sun levels to prevent glare and heat. For the AGU building, this means limiting the use of HVAC systems, ultimately saving energy.
The AGU building will have over 929 pieces of dynamic triple pane glass of numerous sizes and shapes – one of the largest installations of SageGlass in any building ever.
Hickok Cole Architects (HCA), one of AGU’s project team partners, also challenged SageGlass to increase the size of the pieces of glass to fit the building design, and to design unique triangular shapes at the prow, all of which are new to SageGlass’ production. SageGlass did not shy away from this – their research and development team has completed extensive studies and testing to ensure they can deliver what is needed for the project.
To see firsthand how the glass is made, and see the unique pieces that will eventually be in the building, the project team – AGU, HCA, MGAC and Skanska – made a trip, along with subcontractors Glass & Metals, to visit the SageGlass factory in Minneapolis, Minn.
While there, the project team saw how the now fabricated pieces go through extensive automated preparation within the facility including multiple cleanings, coatings, assembling the panes, electrical wiring, and then their multi-level of quality control review, which includes 40 hours of simply turning switches on and off. All of this work will ensure that the glass is ready to go when dropped off at the AGU project site.
This has been a truly collaborative effort between AGU, the designers, HCA, and SageGlass to finalize the design. As construction continues, SageGlass is working directly with the glazing, electrical, and integrated building technology (IBT) subcontractors to ensure that the SageGlass integrates into the building, and provides the highest level of energy savings.
The project team came away from the trip truly impressed with the factory and more excited than ever to introduce this innovative technology into the building.