Australian School Greens, Modernizes and Preserves Historic Building with SageGlass High-Tech Glazing Technology

Date: 5 December 2011
SageGlass integrates seamlessly into retrofit of historical architectureMINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School near Melbourne, Australia, is using SageGlass® to optimize daylighting and sustainability while preserving the 19th-century charm of one of its Edwardian-style school buildings.

Ivanhoe Girls’ is an independent day school for girls established in 1903 that educates approximately 1,025 students from Kindergarten through grade 12. The school recently completed a major renovation of the Sharwood House, which is one of several turn-of-the-century buildings that comprise the Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School.

The newly renovated Sharwood House provides seven state-of-the-art classrooms and breakout spaces. One key design goal of the project—improving the learning environment—was to be accomplished by increasing natural daylight in the school and improving its overall sustainability. But since Sharwood House fronted a residential street, the school had to comply with zoning regulations to protect the building’s facade and historic features, and blend into the Edwardian row house streetscape.

“These old buildings are wonderful environments in which to educate girls. They present a sense of scale and a home-away-from-home,” said Peter Smithson, board member and head of the school’s properties committee. “It was a classic case of striking a balance between using the latest building technologies to achieve sustainability while maintaining the building’s architectural integrity.”

One of the biggest design challenges was an atrium that serves as an indoor play and assembly area. Architect Daryl Jackson wanted to maximize natural daylight to reduce artificial lighting and energy costs to create an environment more conducive to learning. But the roof’s east-west orientation created excessive solar glare and heat gain at certain times of the day.

Jackson considered using mechanized shades and other building appurtenances to control the sun, but they would have compromised the project’s design and sustainability goals. Instead, Jackson glazed the atrium skylights with SageGlass, which changes tint electronically to control the heat gain, glare and fading caused by the sun. SageGlass blocks up to 98 percent of the total solar radiation that could cause harmful effects to the interior, while permitting optimal natural light to stream into the building without the unwanted heat gain.

According to Jackson, the Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School requested a Junior School building that provides classrooms and spaces which assist in promoting the enthusiasm of the students, both by day and night, offering a dynamic functionality in a multiple use of space.

“The fine characteristics of the original building were retained and the new spaces ensured the range of experiences for children, which define a great school,” said Jackson. “The open learning area is the central focal point. With this in mind it was critical this space was bathed in a naturally lit environment and conformed to the Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) and modern design philosophies of both architects and educators working together. The conflict between ESD and Australia’s Section J requirements meant that the solution allowed for natural light but also protection of the internal spaces from the external environment. SageGlass was chosen as this permitted management of the amount of light filtered through the Skylight to minimize solar heat gain and maximize daylight.”

Ivanhoe Girls’ is a good example of how SageGlass fits seamlessly into a wide variety of projects, ranging from new construction office buildings with the most advanced building management system technology to a retrofit of a 100-year-old historical building where it is critical to blend in aesthetically with the environment.

For the Ivanhoe Girls’ project, SageGlass is part of a comprehensive green building design strategy that incorporates passive heating and cooling, and water conservation. The skylights are integrated into a building management system in which light sensors automatically activate the tinting and untinting throughout the day depending on the sun’s orientation. Occupants can also control SageGlass tint manually with the press of a button.

“Ivanhoe Girls’ offers students a rich, innovative educational experience. Outstanding educational facilities play a big role in that experience. SageGlass was a wise investment that will support our mission for years to come,” added Smithson.

About SAGE Electrochromics, Inc.

SAGE Electrochromics is the world’s leading manufacturer of electronically tintable glass that can be tinted or untinted 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 also a smarter, more elegant solution than conventional sun controls such as mechanical window shades, blinds and louvers. 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 strategically partnered with the Saint-Gobain company of Paris, France, the global leader in glass and building products.

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Ed Marshall, 603-559-5816

600450 Australian School Greens, Modernizes and Preserves Historic Building with SageGlass High-Tech Glazing Technology
Date: 5 December 2011

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