Atlanta Eco Office Features Special Solar Glass

The future is bright for the Southface Eco Office in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, but thanks to a recent installation of SageGlass’s electronically tintable solar glass, the staff won’t have to wear shades. This “electrochromatic” glass optimizes daylight harvesting while minimizing overheating due to solar gain, a key factor for energy efficient buildings in southern climates.

Because it can be tinted electronically, SageGlass controls the amount of sunlight that enters a building without the need for shades or blinds. It can also be programmed to respond differently to sunlight at different times of the year, making it easy for building managers to reap the benefits of both daylight harvesting (reduced use of indoor lighting) and passive solar orientation (free heat in the winter months). The technology also reduces the glare of direct sunlight while preserving its occupants’ visual connection to the outdoors.

Southface Eco Office

image via Southface

“East-facing glass in the building was used to demonstrate the latest technologies for actively managing solar heat gain,” said Frank Burdette, the Eco Office Project Manager at Southface, in a statement. He goes on to note that SageGlass’s electrochromic tintable glazing not only provides ample daylight and views down the building’s corridor, it “consistently provides a ‘WOW’ factor on our facility tours.”

The LEED-Platinum-certified building, conceived as a commercial green building demonstration project for design and construction professionals in the Southeast, is home to the Southface Energy Institute, a nonprofit organization promoting energy-, water- and resource-efficient workplaces and homes throughout the Southeastern region.

Southface’s Eco Office building is believed to be one of the world’s most sustainable office facilities, using 84 percent less potable water and 53 percent less energy than comparably-sized buildings that meet all applicable building codes. It was built entirely with off-the-shelf materials and products like SageGlass, demonstrating the potential for even small buildings to achieve high-performance standards at a reasonable cost (its energy use averages less than $25 a day)

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.