Saint-Gobain Glass has acquired 50 per cent of the equity of Sage Electrochromics, a US manufacturer of electrochromic glass.
Under the terms of an agreement between the two, Saint-Gobain will contribute its electrochromic glass intellectual property (IP) to Sage, and all manufacturing and research and development efforts will be merged at Sage’s existing facility in Faribault, Minnesota.
Electrochromic glass changes from a clear state to a tinted state. It can be integrated with a building management system or activated at the push of a button to control the sunlight and heat that enters and leaves a building, thereby reducing energy consumed for air-conditioning, heating and lighting.
The two companies also plan to build the world’s first large-scale electrochromic glass plant, which will also be located in Faribault. The project, which started in November 2010, will cost about $135m (£85.1m).
The new plant will have an annual production capacity of more than 370, 000m2 of electrochromic glass with sizes ranging up to 1.5 x 3.5m — much larger than the sizes that are currently available in the market. The plant is scheduled to begin production in mid-2012.
Sage will remain an independent company and continue to market its SageGlass products in North America. Saint-Gobain will market SageGlass under the Quantum Glass brand in Europe.
The two companies will work together to develop a marketing strategy for Asia and the rest of the world, leveraging Saint-Gobain’s distribution partnerships.