An innovative net-zero energy building retrofit recently performed by a National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) contractor, Pacific Ridge Electric, has turned IBEW Local 332’s Union Hall into the newest landmark in Northern California.
Once home to the state’s oldest commercial solar array, the IBEW 332 Union Hall in San Jose, Calif., features a plaque mounted outside to commemorate the installation in 2001. At the time, the building was cutting-edge in terms of energy efficiency and solar generation, prompting media attention and visits from government officials and foreign representatives. When blackouts plagued the region, the technology in the building kept the lights and computers on, but the technology quickly became outdated. By 2016, the building automation and photovoltaic (PV) generation solar array were largely in disarray.
Pacific Ridge Electric approached NECA’s Energy Conservation and Performance (ECAP) program when first offered the opportunity in early 2016. The ECAP program, working alongside Pacific Ridge Electric, facilitated the energy auditing, economic modeling, conceptual design, IFC drawings, performance bonding, and $3.2 million in financing while administering project management services.
Today, prominent changes have taken shape. The Local 332 Union Hall now features the spelling of "IBEW" in new LED wrapped, solar panels on the rooftop. Located under the landing path of San Jose International Airport, airline passengers will see the building project day and night.
ECAP offers the skills and services necessary to take an electrical contractor of any size into a market that includes the design and installation of solar arrays, wind farms, energy storage systems, electric vehicle equipment, waste water treatment plants, irrigation networks, lighting controls, net-zero energy buildings, and more.
To watch a video of the project, visit http://bit.ly/2GSfbJP.