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Mall of America lets the sun shine in with massive high-tech skylight


A 3,500-sq.-ft. rotunda “smart” skylight has been installed in the new grand entrance and event space at the nation’s largest shopping mall. The new space is part of Mall of America’s 750,000-sq.-ft. expansion.

The skylight is comprised of more than 300 panes of electronically tintable SageGlass, which controls sunlight to optimize daylight and enhance comfort by preventing glare and solar heat.

The skylight is controlled via light sensors, adjusting tint automatically as the sun intensifies throughout the day. Tinting can also be controlled manually as needed for special events at the Mall that require customized glare or heat management. By blocking sunlight on hot days, SageGlass dramatically reduces energy demand, while increasing guest comfort.

“With SageGlass, we’re able to maximize natural light, reduce heat gain and, most importantly, provide guests with a more comfortable experience when they come to the Mall for special events or a day of shopping,” said Rich Hoge, executive VP of operations at Mall of America.

The new atrium, part of the Mall’s expansion, catches the eye of every guest that walks through its doors, Hoge added.

“SageGlass was the solution we were looking for to add a wow factor and yet solve the functional problem of adding so much sunlight in a retail environment,” he said.

In May 2014, Mall of America, which is in Bloomington, Minnesota, embarked on a $325 million expansion project – the most significant construction project for the Mall since its opening more than 20 years ago. The expansion includes a 342-room JW Marriott hotel, an office tower, high-end retailers, new dining options, a tourist welcome center and a large event space.

“Mall of America is a household name not only in our home state of Minnesota but also for visitors from across the country. We’re thrilled SageGlass is part of the new grand entrance of this iconic retail space,” said Alan McLenaghan, CEO, SageGlass.

Mall of America is completing the expansion with partners Mortenson Construction, Hotel Development LLC, the Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the City of Bloomington, Minnesota. DLR Group of Chicago was the architect for the project.

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