A 9.45 kW solar power system installed by Sundance Power Systems is laid out of the south-facing roof of this unique building designed by architect Bakhtiar S Alam. It is one of the first to be grid-tied to Morganton’s Public Power.
Commercial Spotlight: 333StatGreen
On the corner of Bethel Road and 333 Eastview Street in Morganton, NC stands a newly constructed building that undoubtedly is the talk of the town. “333StatGreen” is an architectural eye-catcher with its uniquely angled roof lines, but it also serves as an eye- opener to environmentally sustainable design and building practices. A vision of Bakhtiar S Alam, AIA, it embodies the design declaration that his practice, Elan Architect, is established on: “Fulfilling the ‘desire’ and the ‘need’ of the user- The process must meet the user’s expectations at all levels… keeping in mind the issue of social justice, economic viability and environmental sustainability.”
“Elan” is defined as an “ardor inspired by passion or enthusiasm” and “distinctive and stylish elegance” both of which are carried through in Bakhtiar’s work. However, he credits his inspiration to another meaning from the Native American tradition- “friendly to Mother Earth.” True to that intention, 333StatGreen is an Energy Star certified building, and incorporates various efficiency measures. The building’s exterior is 100% sustainable western red cedar, and other materials were chosen for their low-impact footprint as well. An extensive rainwater catchment system includes a buried 1,700 gallon storage tank, and the reclaimed water is used for flushing commodes and for irrigation. More obvious, however, is the solar power system installed by Sundance Power Systems that is mounted on the building’s south-facing roof.
Solar Power Installed by Sundance Power Systems
Including this 9.5 kW photovoltaic, or solar power, system was a significant step in making the building more sustainable, but as Bakhtiar put it…“You know what is right. Why choose what is cheap or bad?” After the system’s first 3 months of operations, the inverter showed that well over 4,000 pounds of CO2 have been saved, a figure that brought a radiant smile to Bakhtiar. Comprised of forty-four 255 watt Sanyo photovoltaic modules, the system is grid-tied through 2 SMA SunnyBoy 5000 inverters to the municipally owned electrical distribution system. Dan Brown, Electrical Director of Morganton’s Public Power, says this is the 3rd solar system to be tied to their system and is excited about bringing on more. “We try to be customer friendly and to meet their needs and requests. For a small city, we are as progressive as we can possibly be.” In support of bringing on more solar, they offer a payment for clean energy that is brought to their grid and also work with NC GreenPower.
Recognizing that “being a Good Neighbor is being a Green Neighbor” State Farm Insurance Agent Karin Cook relocated her office into the light and airy first-floor office space of 333StatGreen at the first of the month. As she said, “State Farm is committed to a future where environmental solutions are key to the way we do business. Moving to an energy certified, environmentally designed office is part of that solution. I hope my environmentally friendly actions will encourage others to follow in my footsteps.” Nationally, State Farms’ major facilities have a combined Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star score of 86, meaning the buildings are more energy efficient than 86 percent of comparable buildings in the U.S. Undoubtedly, 333StatGreen is one of the most efficient to hit the streets of Morganton.
While the first floor of the building is now occupied, the second floor apartment is newly complete and is ready for someone to call it home. Find out more about this project and Bakhtiar’s work at www.elanarchitect.com