Solar installation spotlight: balancing modernity and heritage at the Boulder Jewish Community Center – pv magazine USA

Sustainability, lower operating costs and return on investment all became paramount issues for the development of this system that will serve the Colorado nonprofit and surrounding Jewish community.

September 24, 2020

The 52,444-square-foot Boulder Jewish Community Center’s (Boulder JCC), while grounded in the past, is a contemporary interpretation of today’s sustainable design. This two-story educational community heritage center provides programs and services based in Jewish values and traditions in a place where people of all ages and backgrounds gather to connect, exchange ideas, learn and grow together.

Designed and built by Colorado-based RB+B Architects and Calcon Constructors, they desired to create something beautiful, functional and unique. Construction included a wing for daycare and education, a gymnasium and fitness center, a full commercial kitchen, a community hall with a state-of-the-art stage, a library, administrative offices and a large outdoor gathering area, complete with a fireplace.

The Boulder JCC includes a 74.4kW PV array, installed by The Solar Revolution, located on multiple rooftops, with an additional 7.2kW array installed on the adjacent barn.

The Challenge

The Boulder JCC is a 501c3, non-profit organization. Sustainability, energy efficiency and education are a priority for their members.

The challenge was to find a cost-effective PV solution that presented an ROI, which would make the project a no-brainer from a financial standpoint. Reducing their monthly operating costs would enable them to invest more money into meaningful community programs.

The Solution

The center was designed to be 30% more efficient than standard construction, and a 74.4kW PV array further helped the BJCC to achieve these goals. Generous grant programs from the City of Boulder and Boulder County, aimed at helping non-profits go solar, made this project a reality. Visibility and educational opportunities afforded by the solar was important to both the BJCC and the grant committees. The center features a monitoring and informational kiosk located in the lobby, displaying specific project data, including CO2 savings, equivalent trees planted, etc.

The main rooftop is a highly visible and gently curved standing seam metal roof. The metal roof provides an ideal platform for mounting solar PV because it is the only roof type with a service life that actually exceeds the service life of a solar PV system. It also enabled the solar installers to utilize S-5-PVKIT® 2.0 solar attachment solution, which provides a secure, economical and penetration-free method for attaching solar modules. Its pre-assembled components enabled installers to direct attach PV modules to the metal roof’s structural seams or ribs vs. a traditional rail mounting system. The material and labor cost savings realized with this solution allowed the BJCC to integrate additional solar on an adjacent roof section.

The adjacent barn at the “Milk and Honey Farm,” featuring a 7.2kW array, is 100% powered by solar and serves as valuable educational tool for the BJCC’s educational and preschool programs.

The highly visible PV system sends a strong message to the community where the BJCC stands regarding environmental stewardship for future generations. It reduces monthly operating costs, enabling them to invest more money into meaningful programs.

Project Data

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Roofing Contractor: Douglass Colony Solar
Installer: The Solar Revolution
Architect: RB+B Architects General
Contractor: Calcon Constructors
Roof Profile: 22GA Firestone UC-3 Double Lock Standing Seam Roof Panel
Module Manufacturer: LG Solar
Inverter Manufacturer: Solar Edge Solar
Attachment Manufacturer: S-5!
Industry: Community

Stats:

  • Roof measured: 102’ (E/W) 75’ (N/S)
  • Roof pitch: varies due to curve
  • 74.4kW of PV, with 50 kW mounted using the S-5-PVKIT® 2.0 solar attachment solution and the S-5-S Mini clamp

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Source: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2020/09/24/solar-installation-spotlight-balancing-modernity-and-heritage-at-the-boulder-jewish-community-center/

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