SunSmart Solar building wins award

Categories: Events, News
Published on: May 2, 2015

SunSmart Solar / 29 April 2015

Solar AwningA North Grenville 9000 sq. ft. straw-bale office and warehouse building, located at 825 Van Buren Street in Kemptville, has been presented with a 2014 Butler Commercial Building Award. Butler Manufacturing annually awards buildings that use their components in unique ways, recognizing architectural appeal, great design, and complexity.

The SunSmart Solar building focuses on ‘better’ industrial building practices without breaking the bank. The building was carefully engineered to eliminate the need for fossil fuels; it is all-electrical, and once 100 kW of solar Photo Voltaic panels has been installed under the Ontario FIT program, it will be net-positive, meaning it will produce twice as much energy as it uses. It combines straw-bale walls, passive solar heat for the office in winter, day-lighting (natural light) through light-shelves that cut down on electrical light use, geothermal and hydronic heating, highly efficient LED and T5 light fixtures, and high insulation values with triple-pane windows. It is designed to work without the need for air-conditioning in summer.

The building was designed by John Donkin Architect from Ottawa, and Rob Beckers, the CEO (and engineer) of SunSmart Solar. It was built by BBS Construction of Ottawa. “The challenge we placed on ourselves was to design and build a green, sustainable industrial building on a budget. To show that commercial buildings do not have to be the drab energy hogs most are. I believe our building is proof it can be done; and it can be done very well, at a cost similar to a conventional build. We have constructed a great building that is a pleasure to work in” according to Beckers.

The building is home to Solacity Inc., a wholesale/retailer for Renewable Energy Products, and houses SunSmart Solar which provides design, engineering, procurement, construction, installation and management of solar Photo Voltaic (PV) projects for residential and commercial systems. Whether its microFIT rooftop, ground mounted Net-Metering or off-grid systems, these options are becoming more and more common in our community.

More information about the unique building, with a description and pictures of the entire build process, can be found the “Green Power Talk” forum http://www.greenpowertalk.org/showthread.php?t=18748 or at http://SunSmart.Solar/. Our next public solar information sessions being held on Thursday, May 7, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, and on Saturday, May 9, from 1:30 pm 3:00 pm at the SunSmart building. More details can also be found onsite at SunSmart Solar Limited, 825 Van Buren Street, Kemptville, ON or by calling 613-518-1868.