US-based global aid agency, Mercy Corps has received LEED Platinum Certification for its usage of electronically tintable glass from SageGlass at its new headquarters in Portland, Ore. SageGlass helps in maximising daylight and at the same time controlling heat gain. Depending on the conditions prevailing outside the building, SageGlass can be tinted or cleared.
The glass is usually glazed to the curtain walls and skylights of any building. However, for the headquarters of Mercy Corp the glass was installed as an exterior shade on every floor on the façade facing south. This was done to provide solar control to the conference room and the lobby of the building.
Since sunlight is a scarce resource in the Pacific Northwest, the company was particular in ensuring that every bit of sunlight was utilized in the appropriate manner. The glass has the capacity to allow sunlight into the building during cold or sunny days and at the same time act as a shade during hot days. This feature helped the building’s architects THA Architecture to make the windows operable and install motorized clerestory windows in the atrium of the building. Due to the installation of SageGlass, Mercy Corps has been successful in achieving 69% better energy performance than regular office buildings. It has also received various other awards such as Carbon Consciousness Award and Most Admired Non-Profit Building from Oregon Business Journal.