University of Miami’s Frost School of Music on track to achieve LEED Platinum energy efficiency with the help of SageGlass dynamic glass

SageGlass’ unique ability to take any shape enables architects to incorporate triangular energy-efficient windows  The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is using electronically tintable SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, to offer students a more comfortable and creative environment for music making while also achieving aggressive energy-efficiency goals. Designed by architectural firm HOK and famed architect Yann Weymouth, the new LEED® Platinum-pending facility has over 40,000 square feet of acoustically-engineered and daylight-optimized teaching spaces.

The twin-building complex unites more than 770 students and 125 faculty in what is recognized as one of the top 20 music schools in the world.

“The goal was to create a highly sustainable, state-of-the-art facility for teaching, learning, performing and recording music, as well as provide a beautiful gateway at the campus’ edge. To that end, the facility employs a light-harvesting, energy-efficient design that requires less than half the energy of comparable buildings,” said Alex Rodriquez, architect at HOK.  

Arrays of triangular SageGlass dynamic glass windows framed in white concrete walls give the façade its distinctive visual statement. SageGlass is electrochromic glazing that tints automatically (or on demand) to optimize daylight, outdoor views and comfort while preventing glare, fading and heat gain. SageGlass helped enable HOK’s distinctive triangular window design since it is the building industry’s only dynamic glass available in non-rectangular shapes.

SageGlass also supports the unique light-harvesting design of the indoor space where each room is a “floating box” within a box, with no two rooms sharing walls, floors or ceilings to provide optimal acoustics for music creativity. SageGlass enhances the indoor environment by providing natural daylight and outdoor views to the beautiful lakefront campus throughout the day.

Dynamic glass is a good fit for South Florida buildings due to the amount of sunshine and the intensity of the sunlight. The Coral Gables campus sees the sun during 70 percent of available daylight hours, and the light in Florida is particularly strong due to the steep angle of the sun, so it receives a high level of ultraviolet radiation. 

“Sustainable design, natural lighting and outdoor views create better learning environments as well as enhance the creative process of music. With SageGlass, we were able to maintain outside views and keep people comfortable inside, while simultaneously minimizing energy consumption to achieve the project’s LEED goals,” Rodriguez said. 

SageGlass is one of a number of eco-friendly design elements that helped HOK achieve LEED Platinum-pending certification. The Frost School also features roof-top photovoltaics, rainwater harvesting cisterns, water-efficient landscaping, and precast concrete walls that sequester smog from around the building.

“Dynamic glass continues to gain momentum in higher education because universities are increasingly committed to sustainable design in new building projects. But they also understand the benefits of natural lighting for creating better learning environments,” said Alan McLenaghan, CEO of SageGlass.  “The Frost School of Music is an innovative educational facility and is on the leading edge of using SageGlass for daylighting, energy efficiency and enhancing the academic experience of its students.” 

About SageGlass 

SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, is advanced dynamic glass that can be electronically tinted or cleared to optimize daylight and improve the human experience in buildings. SageGlass manages the sunlight and heat that enter a building, significantly reducing energy consumption while improving people’s comfort and well-being. It can reduce a building’s cooling load by 20% and HVAC requirements up to 30%. It is a smarter, more elegant solution than conventional sun controls such as mechanical window shades, blinds and louvers. With SageGlass you can control sunlight and glare without shades or blinds while maintaining the view and connection to the outdoors. SageGlass is manufactured in Faribault, Minn., in the heart of “the Silicon Valley of the window industry,” and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Paris, the world’s largest building materials company.

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About Saint-Gobain in North America

Saint-Gobain has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 250 locations in North America and approximately 15,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $6.2 billion in 2014.

Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.       

About Saint-Gobain

In 2015, Saint-Gobain is celebrating its 350th anniversary, 350 reasons to believe in the future. Backed by its experience and its capacity to continuously innovate, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction market, designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance and building materials providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. With 2014 sales of $54.6 billion, Saint-Gobain operates in 64 countries and has over 180,000 employees. For more information about Saint-Gobain, visit and the twitter account @saintgobain

600450 University of Miami’s Frost School of Music on track to achieve LEED Platinum energy efficiency with the help of SageGlass dynamic glass
Date: 19 June 2015

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