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Down on the farm. Up on sustainability.

At first glance, it might seem like a barn—but a closer look reveals towering windows, rooftop solar panels and world-class energy efficiency. 

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February 15, 2017 |

Thanks to innovative design and the use of Solarban® 70XL glass by Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass), the architects for Bob Evans Farms’ corporate headquarters were able to incorporate those features and more into a modern structure that venerates the company’s rural heritage.

Located on a 40-acre site just outside Columbus, Bob Evans Farms’ headquarters is a three-building campus that houses offices, a test kitchen, training facility, warehouse, shipping center and carryout restaurant. For architect Lori Bongiorno, who led the design team at M+A Architects, a major goal was to connect the building’s architecture to the power of the brand while achieving one of the most rigorous milestones for sustainable design: LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the Gold level from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The choice of simple building materials salutes the company’s past while fulfilling the demand for collaborative workspaces. Insulated glass units fabricated with Solarban® 70XL glass enables sunlight to flood offices and meeting areas while controlling solar heat gain. As a result, the 138,000-square-foot building uses less power for lighting and temperature control than comparably sized buildings. Energy savings are supplemented by highly efficient LED interior lighting, rooftop solar panels, light-amplifying skylights—also fabricated from Solarban® 70XL glass—and a customized sunshade system.

Bongiorno said the use of Vitro glass was a calculated decision. “We needed high-performance glass due to the large expanse of windows. Our mechanical engineer recommended Solarban® 70XL glass to help achieve our goals for the energy model while still maintaining large amounts of glass to maximize natural light transmission. It also has the appearance of clear glass, which was desired from an aesthetic standpoint.”

Based on Vitro’s proprietary triple-silver coating technology, Solarban® 70XL glass transmits 64 percent of available sunlight and blocks nearly 75 percent of the sun’s heat energy in a standard 1-inch insulated glass unit. The resulting 2.37 light-to-solar-gain (LSG) ratio makes it one of the highest-performing architectural glass products available—outperformed only by Solarban® 90 glass, Vitro’s latest evolution in solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) glass.

Now home to more than 500 employees, the Bob Evans Farms headquarters met its LEED certification goal while honoring the company’s history. “From the very first meeting with Bob Evans, our mission was to create an interactive, educational experience that celebrates farming, family, philanthropy, nutrition and the environment,” Bongiorno added.

For half a century, architects have relied on the continuously expanding line of high-performance Solarban® glass products to keep occupants comfortable and realize ambitious design visions. In addition, Solarban® glass products feature some of the industry’s highest LSG ratios and can be combined with Starphire Ultra-Clear™ glass and a wide array of tinted glasses by Vitro Glass for even better performance and aesthetic effects.

Learn more about Solarban® glass at  

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