A key goal of green building is to create a structure that integrates building design and materials to use the least amount of energy possible. So your solar energy system is designed in tandem with the building itself. The physical orientation of the structure and use of shade, plus energy-conserving architecture and building materials combined with a passive solar system to make all features of the structure work together to achieve efficiency.
A cost-saving example of the expertise we bring is to help you reduce energy demand as a first step. An LED lighting conversion may be the most cost-effective move to make first, resulting in lower energy demand and consequently a smaller solar electric system making the whole project have a faster economic payback.
We have accomplished such demand-reducing lighting conversions in schools, office buildings and even street lights. There are lots of exciting opportunities emerging as advancing technology brings new LED products to market in a wave of new innovation.
North Coast Solar offers architectural solar analysis for passive solar design, and Title 24 energy compliance calculations for building permits, energy audits and energy monitoring of a building’s daily energy use pattern.
North Coast Solar assisted the County of Sonoma in completing Energy Audits on many well-known wineries for the County’s Green Business Certification program, including Gallo, Benzinger, Jordan, Hop Kiln, Davis Bynum and Belvedere, promoting green business practices since the 1990s.
North Coast Solar offers a number of advantages for green building projects, including over 30 years of energy consulting experience added to construction experience and green building certifications. North Coast Solar’s passive solar architecture designs are award-winning, including a PG&E Suntherm II Home Award. We look at the whole picture of a building as a system and examine all the factors.
Case Study: REACH Air Medical Services
REACH Air Medical Services contacted North Coast Solar to do an energy audit on it’s facilities including it’s hangar at the Charles Schultz Sonoma County Airport. It was determined that the most cost effective measure that could be installed first would be a lighting conversion for the Hi-Bay fixtures which were 750 watt Metal Halide. They were replaced with high efficiency Hi-Bay T5 High Output fixtures which use 350 watts per fixture. This provided an energy savings of over 50% for the lighting system and proved to be a 20% savings to building’s total electric bill.
The high quality of the fluorescent lighting with much better color rendition was also a plus and demonstrated how Green Building measures not only save energy, but improve the work environment for both employees. Multiple benefit projects are a North Coast Solar specialty.
More recently, North Coast Solar helped a Bay Area homeowner association identify an LED street lighting conversion that will have an 84 percent energy savings while reducing fixture maintenance costs significantly. New LED fixtures for street lights and Hi-Bay applications will be an exciting new way for facilities to save energy and improve the indoor environment.
REACH Air Medical Services Hangar
Charles Schultz Sonoma County Airport
Santa Rosa, California