Page E1.1 . 28 August 2002                     
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
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    Solar-Powered Factory

    by ArchitectureWeek

    The new manufacturing plant for Hayward Building Systems, recently opened in Santa Maria, California, may not look like much from the street, but its energy conservation performance marks it as a leader in modern factory design.

    The 50,000-square-foot (4600-square-meter) factory, which manufactures engineered roof trusses, wall panels, and floor trusses for residential and light commercial construction, has applied for certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program. The building exceeds California's Title 24 energy standards by 40 percent, and Hayward expects it to receive a gold LEED certification.

    The plant operates primarily on electricity from photovoltaic panels on the roof. Even so, the plant is on the local power grid, and it creates a small surplus of electricity that goes back to the grid as "energy credits" that can be used later. Being on the grid eliminates the need for costly battery storage and gives Hayward a "backup" power supply, which is expected to used rarely, if at all.

    There is still room left on the south-sloping roof to accommodate numerous skylights. These provide illumination for the workers below, reducing the need for electric lighting. The cool, breezy Santa Maria climate and shaded windows designed for passive ventilation have made mechanical air conditioning completely unnecessary, further lowering construction and operating costs. Air handlers and exchangers help manipulate and freshen air through the building. An insulated thermal envelope minimizes heat loss in the mild California winters.

    Despite appearances, the large expanse of paved outdoor space is also contributing the environmental effort. Permeable paving stones in the parking lot facilitate rainwater drainage and manage stormwater runoff. The building's entire roof is a rainwater collector, feeding two 30,000-gallon (114-kiloliter) cisterns, which store water used for irrigation via an automatic sprinkler system.

    Numerous other environmental features are integrated into the design of the plant including use of a previously developed site to maintain open space; poured concrete with a 50-percent fly-ash content to reduce cement volume; waterless urinals and low-flow plumbing fixtures and fittings; and recycled content in the structural steel, glazing, flooring, ceramic tile, and furnishings.

    Environmental concerns also affect the products made in the factory. Automated saws optimize lumber use, and wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is available as an option to customers.

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    ArchWeek Image

    The new Hayward Building Systems manufacturing plant in Santa Maria, California is powered by photovoltaic panels.
    Photo: Hayward Corporation

    ArchWeek Image

    The large expanses of photovoltaic panels are punctuated by regularly spaced skylights.
    Photo: Hayward Corporation

    ArchWeek Image

    The factory is self-sufficient in electricity generation, but is connected to the local power grid.
    Image: Powerlight Solar Electric Systems


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

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