Crown Equipment Corporation is one of the world’s largest material handling companies with more than 100,000 employees worldwide. As part of its expansion efforts at their global headquarters in New Bremen, Ohio, Crown chose to renovate the historic Boesel Opera House into a new office building. The Opera House was built in 1895, and was damaged by a fire in 2012, that destroyed the interior of the building. The new facility incorporated a number of features of the original building that were not significantly damaged by the fire, including much of the exterior framework and ceiling beams. Crown has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, which is ingrained into its product development and manufacturing process. The company wanted the new office building to feature a number of environmentally friendly construction and design elements, including the windows.
Crown selected View Smart Glass for all of its windows, over 9,000 square feet of glass. View’s smart glass intelligent technology automatically tints the windows electronically in response to outside conditions, which eliminates the need for blinds or shades and allows better utilization of natural lighting, reduced heat and glare, and the benefit of maintaining a connection to the outdoors.
Up to 1,649 hours of direct glare are reduced on the south facing façade every year. Employees also enjoy maximum natural light as View Smart Glass changes tint levels and returns to a clear state when glare is not an issue. Based on a survey conducted in conjunction with UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment, Crown employees reported a 90% overall satisfaction rate with respect to the new building, which is 17% higher than comparable buildings with no dynamic glass.
An energy analysis was conducted to compare smart glass versus a baseline glazing package of dual-pane low-e glass with internal motorized shades and exterior sun shades. View Smart Glass was found to reduce peak load cooling by more than 20 percent. HVAC systems are sized by the peak cooling load requirement (cooling needed during the hottest time of the year). By tinting the smart glass to its darkest tint state, the peak load can be reduced allowing for a smaller overall HVAC system. With View Smart Glass, Crown Opera House will realize substantial first time cost savings and annual operating savings with a payback period of 3 years.