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Shading system wins LEED award

News | August 1, 2018 | By:

In addition to controlling sun, the shades designed for the new Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. feature a rib weave that adds a rustic charm throughout the space. Photos: Mermet USA.

When Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. decided to expand east from its Chico, Calif., headquarters, the company settled on Mills River, N.C., near Asheville. A 320,000-square-foot brewery was built, including a warehouse and bottling facility, taproom and restaurant, amphitheater and an indoor music venue.

Sierra Nevada worked with architects and engineers at R.G.A., the firm that designed its Chico brewery, to create airy, light-filled public spaces. While the building was designed and constructed with sustainability and LEED® principles in mind, including solar heat gain controls, the brewery was getting too much sun. To mitigate the sunlight, the existing energy-efficient glass was supplemented with shades from Mermet USA, a manufacturer of sun control textiles.

Mermet’s shade fabric, M Screen Deco 5%, was a well-crafted solution for the brewery. Made of a high-quality yarn comprised of fiberglass and vinyl, the M Screen Deco shades were specified at five percent openness to solve the problem, blocking approximately 95 percent of UV rays and transmitting only seven percent of total solar energy.

With this addition, the brewery was able to reduce its Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) from .227 to .221, a 20.2 percent SHGC improvement, and one that could not have been achieved solely through glazing. The shades also reduce glare without affecting the crisp, clear view the owners wanted to maintain. Patrons can enjoy a cold beer without sunlight in their eyes, and employees can work in comfort.

The building was awarded LEED® Platinum in 2016—the first production brewery in the country to earn the certification. For more information, visit

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