Considered a revolution in the glazing industry, the winning solar control solution is the result of 25 years of Research and Development and is protected by more than 320 patents, according to Sreekumar. We asked…
Can you explain SageGlass and its properties?
SageGlass by Saint-Gobain is an electronically-tintable, dynamic glass used to design energy-efficient residential and commercial buildings. It prevents heat and glare, increases occupants’ comfort and optimises daylight, while also maintaining outdoor views. This solution enables users to control sunlight and glare without shades or blinds. The technical term for SageGlass is ‘electrochromic glass’ or ‘dynamic glass.’
What are the features and benefits of this ‘dynamic glass?’
This intelligent solar control solution offers an environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient alternative to blinds or shades, and provides reliable year-round indoor comfort, while at the same time ensuring long-term sustainability for the building. SageGlass can be silently tinted and made fully clear, either automatically or manually at the touch of a button, or even using the SageGlass app on a tablet or smartphone.
What makes SageGlass a sustainable product?
SageGlass has an unsurpassed optical and solar performance (visible light transmission range from 60% to 1%, solar heat coefficient range 0.38 to 0.04) providing significant energy savings, thermal comfort and at 1% visible light transmission - all without compromising or affecting the view outside. It integrates easily into a standard double or triple glazing unit and any framing system. SageGlass can contribute to most of the renowned Green Building Rating Systems like LEED, BREEAM, MINERGIE, ESTIDAMA and the recently-launched rating system by Dubai Municipality - AL SAFAT.
What are the challenges faced in the installation of this solution?
There is no major challenge in installing SageGlass. It can be treated like any other architectural glass and installed in any framing system with ease. The only exception is the process of connecting the glass panel to the frame cable. The process includes using the SageGlass insulating glass unit (IGU) Pigtail cable that extends from one edge of each IGU and connects to the frame cable. It also stores an electronic serial number and IGU-specific data that can be used for system start-up, commissioning and troubleshooting. Initially, contractors were hesitant to work with these connecting cables, but with the help of our supervising team, they have been able to get comfortable with the process and install the glass panels with ease. We recently helped a team complete the installation of a 460 sqm aesthetically-appealing façade in this manner.
How useful is this solution in the Middle East?
Due to the extreme heat and intense glare from the sun in the Middle East, there is a constant demand for sustainable solutions in the region. Some kind of internal or external shading is a must for architectural glass, even if the glass offers high performance standards. As a major player in the glazing business, Saint-Gobain has identified the great potential for dynamic glass in this market and the company unveiled SageGlass here in 2015.
What are its applications?
SageGlass has been incorporated into a wide variety of commercial buildings and is a good fit for any project where controlling the sun is a challenge. Some of the leading types of projects where the solution has been used include commercial offices, schools and universities, healthcare facilities, cultural institutions, government facilities and skylights in a wide variety of buildings. It can be best suited for skylight applications, where putting blinds and shades is a major challenge. SageGlass does not require any special maintenance unlike louvers and shades and can be cleaned like any normal glass façade.
What are your main projects in the Middle East?
The Swiss International Scientific School in Al Jaddaf, Dubai was our first project in the Middle East, which was done in 2015. We also successfully completed a “classified” VVIP palace project in Abu Dhabi. Recently, we handed over the SISD Sports Centre with over 350 sqm of SageGlass application on the façade of a building in Al Jaddaf, overlooking the Sheikh Zayed Road skyline. Currently, we are working on a handful of projects including some prestigious projects with Dubai Municipality, which spearheads the drive for sustainability in the UAE with its new measures for energy efficient building.
Why is it important to introduce such new solutions and technologies to the construction industry?
The construction industry is growing into multiple dimensions, highly-focused on the enhancement of living and working environments, while consuming less energy over the life-cycle of the building. Sustainable products like SageGlass have an emphasis on driving performance, control and innovation for customers who are seeking solutions to challenges like sun control issues. When occupants are comfortable and enjoy views of the outdoors without any glare or excess heat, they see improvements in their focus, mood and overall health.