SfL+a Architects Installs Four Solar Energy Trees At Sandy Grove Middle School

Top Quote Local Architecture Firm Announces New Environmentally Sustainable Features For Net-Positive Hoke County, N.C. School. End Quote
  • Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC (1888PressRelease) April 26, 2013 - SfL+a Architects (http://www.sfla.biz) has announced that the firm has installed four solar energy trees in front of Sandy Grove Middle School, the nation's first net-positive, LEED Platinum designed, leased public school. Each of these bright blue solar "trees" stands 20 feet tall, includes 12 solar panels, and serves as a symbol and reminder of the significant environmental benefit of this one-of-a-kind project. SfL+a Architects, along with FirstFloor, Spotlight Solar and PowerSecure Solar, completed the installation in early April. The 74,000-square-foot net-zero facility, designed to return more energy to the grid than it consumes, is projected to save Hoke County Schools nearly $35 million over the next 40 years.

    Sandy Grove Middle School is scheduled for completion by July 30. Major developments include the final installation of the solar photovoltaic system, consisting of 2,358 solar panels on the roof of the school. These will produce more than 752,000 kWH per year, enough to power more than 68 homes. The exterior brick, roofing windows are now installed, which completes the enhanced building envelope and will help maintain the indoor environment and facilitate climate control. The added sustainable-design components to Sandy Grove Middle School include an energy efficient HVAC system using a geothermal ground loop, which pumps water 300 feet into the ground to heat and cool it naturally before using energy to bring the water to room temperature. This system also creates separate zones to allow temperature controls for every two permanent occupants, as well as an indoor air quality management plan. Additionally, the lighting is more than 80 percent LED, which means it uses less energy, emits less heat and provides superior color rendering, allowing for a better educational experience for all students. As finishing touches are nearing completion, the school is almost ready to receive new students for the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

    "We are very pleased with the installation of the solar energy trees in front of Sandy Grove Middle School," said Robbie Ferris, president and CEO of SfL+a Architects. "The assembly of these trees demonstrates that solar energy is not only economically and environmentally beneficial, but visually appealing as well."

    "Spotlight Solar is honored to be a part of this project," said Craig Merrigan, co-founder and CEO of Spotlight Solar. "This school will bring enormous benefit to students, parents, and the whole Hoke County community. It is great to be a prominent part of something with such a positive impact."

    "PowerSecure is excited about partnering with SfL+a Architects and FirstFloor on this net zero school project," said Blair Kendall, director of business development for PowerSecure Solar. "SfL+a Architects and FirstFloor have led with a vision for the future and has collaborated with all its partners to create this new cutting edge model for schools nationwide. Our contribution with the solar design, installation and the peak shaving generators has been just one piece of this amazingly complex puzzle. The Spotlight Solar trees that we just installed are an excellent symbol for the tremendous achievement of this project."

    SfL+a Architects is a firm designed to provide state-of-the-art architectural solutions to educational institutions. Founded in 1982, the company has emerged as one of the most highly regarded architectural firms in the Southeast, offering expert services in architectural planning, design, construction, land planning and interior design. The firm has offices located in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Charlotte, N.C. The sister company of SfL+a Architects is FirstFloor K-12 Solutions, LLC, a North Carolina development company pioneering public-private partnerships to develop educational facilities. The company is comprised of talented professionals, each possessing 15-20 years of experience in banking, finance, construction and property management. For more information, visit http://www.sfla.biz.

    Spotlight Solar makes customers' properties distinctive with great looking solar. These novel structures don't replace rooftop solar systems, they complement them and authentically remind people of other environmental investments. By making solar more visible and attractive, Spotlight Solar hopes to accelerate the adoption of solar energy. And Spotlight is a certified B Corporation, which means they're out to do something good. For more information: www.spotlightsolar.com

    PowerSecure delivers Energy Technologies and Services to electric utilities and their industrial, institutional, and commercial customers. Our products and services are focused in the areas of Interactive Distributed Generation, Energy Efficiency, and Utility Infrastructure. We are a pioneer in developing Interactive Distributed Generation® (IDG®) power systems with sophisticated smart grid capabilities, including the ability to 1) forecast electricity demand and electronically deploy the systems to deliver more efficient and environmentally friendly power at peak power times, 2) provide utilities with dedicated electric power generation capacity to utilize for demand response purposes, and 3) provide customers with the most dependable standby power in the industry. Our proprietary distributed generation system designs utilize a range of technologies to deliver power, including solar power.

    Emily Packard
    MMI Public Relations
    (919) 233-6600
    Emily ( @ ) mmipublicrelations dot com

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