Great Glazing: Mercy Corps Headquarters
Photo by Jeff Armam Photography
The basics: The Mercy Corps headquarters in Portland, Ore., has been designated a 2012 Top Ten Green Project by the AIA's Committee on the Environment in part thanks to its advanced, energy efficient curtain-wall system, and to the use of electrochromic glass, according to a release from Guardian Industries and officials from Sage Electrochromics. The global relief organization took over an existing historic landmark for its new headquarters, and architectural firm THA Architecture designed the headquarters to receive green designation. Seismic upgrades to the structure provided support to the addition and allowed for more open floor plans and exterior walls. The structure's east façade curtain wall and a combination of new and kept windows give occupants outdoor views 95 percent of the time, and allow natural light to penetrate so that interior lighting can be off during daylight hours 39 percent of the time, according to the release. The electronically tintable glass was also installed as an exterior shade at every floor on the south-facing facade, providing critical solar control in the building's lobby and conference room, according to Sage officials.
The building achieved Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Read the full Guardian release and the Sage Electrochromics release.
The players: Architect, THA Architecture; general contractor, Walsh Construction Co.; glass fabricator, Northwestern Industries; glass supplier, Guardian Industries; glazing contractor, Culver Glass; glazing system supplier, Arcadia; electronically tinable glass supplier, Sage Electrochromics.
The glass: The curtain wall features Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 that provides high light transmittance and reduced solar heat gain with a neutral appearance. The electronically tinable glass is SageGlass.