Toledo, Ohio, is known as ‘The Glass City’ due to the community’s long history as home to glass manufacturing companies like Libbey Glass, Owens-Illinois (O-I) and our own predecessor Libbey-Owens-Ford (LOF). So, it seems fitting that when O-I built its world headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, the world’s largest glass container maker selected Pilkington glass. After all, both companies trace their roots back to the inventive genius of Michael J. Owens, who invented the modern glass industry with the first-ever automatic bottle-making machine.
But, O-I and Pilkington North America have more in common than one man and one medium. Both companies have rich histories dating back to the early 1900’s. O-I got its start in 1903 as the Owens Bottle Company, when Michael J. Owens invented his automatic bottle-making machine. The company quickly became one of the first to manufacture glass containers of consistent size and shape. Michael Owens partnered with Edward Drummond Libbey to form Libbey-Owens in 1916, which later became Libbey-Owens-Ford (LOF) after a merger with Edward Ford. LOF was then sold to Pilkington in 1986. The Owens Bottle Company, then separated from LOF, merged with Illinois Glass company in 1929 to form today’s O-I.
O-I opened its worldwide headquarters building in August 2006. The 100,000 square foot building was constructed by the Lathrop Company, with architecture and engineering design from Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. and additional services from Harmon Glass & Glazing and Oldcastle Building Envelope. The building was designed and built to meet O-I’s goal of creating a “sleek, contemporary and humble” location for the Fortune 500 company. The team also was able to incorporate a number of green building features, enabling the headquarters to achieve a Leadership in Energy & Design (LEED®) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This green building rating system provides a set of standards for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The headquarters boasts a number of natural features, such as prairie grass plantings to reduce the need for irrigation and a system to irrigate the grounds with water from a large pond on the site.
O-I’s headquarters building also features 30,000 square foot of Pilkington Eclipse Advantage™ Arctic Blue and Pilkington Solar-E™ Clear glass and 2,000 square foot of Pilkington Energy Advantage™ in the lobby. This glazing combination blends the solar and thermal performance of low-emissivity glass with contemporary aesthetics of the design. It offers subtle reflectivity, good daylight transmittance, low heat absorption and glare control. The low-e properties combined with solar control results in energy cost reductions compared to ordinary glass.