In keeping with its mission, the Center installed SageGlass® during a renovation to achieve its sustainability goals while educating students and the community on cutting-edge green building technologies.The non-profit Science Center is a model of state-of-the-art sustainable design.The 16,000-square-foot facility was built to demonstrate practical ways to conserve energy, water and the environment, with hands-on interactive exhibits about energy and water conservation, renewable energy and wetlands restoration. Cascade Meadow was just the ninth LEED® Platinum certified project in Minnesota at the time it was awarded in 2012.
The Science Center is using SageGlass to showcase the latest in dynamic solar technologies. SageGlass controls solar heat gain in the building while preserving an unencumbered view to the beautiful natural surroundings.
“We are a hybrid between a nature center and science museum, with the goal of inspiring more Minnesota youth to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers,” said Stefan Theimer, the Center’s education programmer. “We want to be a place where people dream about the next generation of sustainable technologies. SageGlass is a Minnesota-built technology that helps us achieve that goal by demonstrating new innovations in smart windows.”
SageGlass is electronically tintable dynamic glass that maximizes daylight and outdoor views in buildings while controlling glare and heat gain. The glass can darken or clear manually or automatically to save energy and help keep building occupants continuously comfortable throughout the day.
In addition to its functional use as window glazing, SageGlass is part of the Center’s side-by-side demonstration comparing different approaches to passive solar control. As an exhibit piece, it helps spur conversations about green building and daylighting among students as well as teachers, builders, architects and business leaders who visit the facility, according to architect Bruce Cornwall of LHB Inc., the architectural firm that designed the building.
“By including dynamic glass in the design for Cascade Meadow, we found that it provided an opportunity to demonstrate active solar control, seamlessly integrate a smart window technology into the design, and contribute to the overall aesthetic in a manner that other sun control systems just couldn’t match,” he said.