Client News: 4/30/09

SAGE’s founder, John Van Dine, honored as one of 40 Minnesotans on the Move

Faribault, Minn. — Finance and Commerce celebrated its 120th anniversary of business publishing by recognizing 40 Minnesotans making business history of their own. The publication recognized John E. Van Dine, president and chairman of SAGE Electrochromics, Inc., as one of the “40 Minnesotans on the Move” for 2009.

Van Dine founded SAGE Electrochromics, Inc., in 1989 in Valley Cottage, N.Y., and after nine years moved the company to Minnesota, where it is now established as the worldwide product leader in electrochromic (EC) glass for the building industry. He has been the company’s president and chairman since inception. He has devoted his career to the development and commercialization of advanced material and processing technologies related to energy-efficient products in the glass industry including photovoltaics (solar cells) in addition to electrochromics. He holds more than 35 U.S. and foreign patents.

Under Van Dine’s direction, SAGE has stood at the forefront of EC glass development for more than 15 years, and today remains the sole provider of SageGlass® glazing, its EC glass product, which entered the marketplace in 2004. Van Dine points out that there is a concentration of industry leading glass fabricators and window manufacturers in the region, and as such, he coined the phrase “the Silicon Valley of the window industry” to refer to the area.

“SageGlass glazing is changing the way people think about glass in buildings,” says Van Dine. “It is glass that is electronically tintable; that is, it can be transitioned from a clear state to a deeply tinted state by the push of a button or a command from a building automation system. In this manner, it blocks glare, making the building more comfortable for the people inside.”

He adds that the dynamic glazing blocks as much as 91% of the solar heat gain during the summer and admits it during the winter, reducing energy use associated with heating and cooling. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, SageGlass glazing can reduce a building’s annual energy bill by as much as 28%, and cut on-peak demand for electricity by as much as 25%.

Because SageGlass products can eliminate the need for shades and blinds (in non-privacy applications), building occupants are able to enjoy more natural daylight and retain their view to the outdoors. Research shows that exposure to daylight and a connection to the outdoors improves people’s health and well-being. It also can increase retail sales, improve children’s scholastic achievement, reduce absenteeism, and boost productivity in the workplace.

As part of its mission, SAGE continually strives to excel in organizational leadership, technology development, product design, manufacturing and customer service. These competencies along with the company’s innovative, energy-saving product — which contributes to high-performance buildings in the new “energy economy” — have allowed SAGE to enjoy continued growth in these challenging financial times. The company is planning a six-fold expansion of its operations within the next 24 months.

Looking ahead, Van Dine sees SAGE’s technology used beyond the architectural building market, in a wide range of products including many forms of transportation windows and specialty applications.

Commemorating the accomplishments and anticipating future achievements, Van Dine and the 40 honorees received their “Minnesotans on the Move” award at a ceremony on April 29th at the Sofitel Hotel in Bloomington, Minn. For a complete list of winners, please see the special issue of Finance and Commerce, Minnesota Lawyer and the St. Paul Legal Ledger Capitol Report.

Consistently proven reliable for use in exterior building applications, SageGlass® products help reduce energy bills by controlling solar heat gain and increase worker productivity by allowing additional daylighting, minimizing glare, and enhancing occupant comfort.

To learn more about SAGE and its products, please call 877-724-3321, or visit


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