Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Charged Up About Photovoltaic

We’ve been busy in the office with a few government projects, as well as some additional design opportunities.  Two of our projects are focused on energy production in the form of photovoltaic covered parking.  Both are funded through the Department of Energy, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).   We're optimistic that President Obama's new Better Buildings Initiative for energy efficiency will bring new opportunities in the commercial sector.  Energy efficiency combined with energy production is an ideal mix for retrofits.

Clark County Development Services' Russell Road Campus is home to a newly constructed steel parking canopy made up of photovoltaic panels covering 17 employee parking spaces.  An interactive, public kiosk is provided in the main lobby to demonstrate the renewable energy production process.   

Starting construction this spring, Clark County Government Center will be home to a newly constructed, unique canopy made up of bi-facial photovoltaic panels and structural steel that covers 20 visitor parking spaces.  Electric vehicle charging stations are available to a majority of the parking spaces.  The project also includes an accessible, public, interactive kiosk in the main lobby rotunda.

The canopy is designed to assimilate with the architecturally significant Clark County Government Center building and also reflect the advanced technology of solar energy production. 

A light footprint minimizes visual disruption of the existing building and colors complement the existing design palette.  Four tilted columns reflect the bold sundial element at the top of Government Center’s rotunda and cantilevered beams mimic “Viga” elements in Southwestern architecture. 

Semi-transparent, bi-facial photovoltaic modules create dappled shade and enable visitors to see the technology of photovoltaic production.  Signage invites them to visit the monitoring kiosk in the Lobby to learn more.  At night, columns are highlighted with up/down LED lighting and additional under-canopy LED lighting enhances safety.

Knowing that these projects will give people the chance to research the amount of energy produced by the PV panels, perhaps inspiring them to start their own photovoltaic project, is truly gratifying.

Our design team includes Wright Engineers and KJE Consulting Engineers.  Contractor for Development Services is Martin Harris Construction.

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