Solar energy changes historic Harvard Square atrium

Oct 13, 2021 04:38 PM ET
  • Trinity Property Management Inc., working with Solar Design Associates, has actually effectively commissioned an unique transparent solar power installation over the glass atrium atop one of its premier properties in historical Harvard Square.
Solar energy changes historic Harvard Square atrium

The project at Trinity's 50 Church Street property will allow the building's atrium and roof covering to produce as much as 66 kW of solar photovoltaic or pv energy while maintaining open views to the sky from the atrium area. The project additionally guarantees even more effective year-round temperature control in the prominent room, which gives additional conference as well as job room for the workplace tenants and also offers a venue for a number of community occasions and also functions.

Made by architects Bruner/Cott & Associates, the remodelling at 50 Church solved a number of longstanding difficulties with the structure simultaneously:

  • Replacing a cherished yet energy-inefficient glass ceiling over the atrium room that had been set up in 1980 and caused seasonal temperature extremes on the sunniest days of summertime and darkest, chilliest days of winter season, which was at ideal akin to a "two-season patio"
  • Making sure Trinity can mount a translucent solar array without being locked right into a modern technology for the long-term while solar PV output and also innovations remains to grow-- the solar panels are installed as a rainfall screen above, and separate from, the new atrium glass
  • Changing a failed passive-solar hot water system set up on a 55 ° tower on the roofing over 40 years earlier
  • Permitting an innovation as well as renovation of a building in the heart of historic Harvard Square that had the ability to protect authorization from the Cambridge Historic Payment

" We have actually transformed 50 Church Street into a lot more eye-catching, comfy and currently greatly greener as well as extra sustainable structure for all our renters, visitors as well as Trinity's business workplaces," said Trinity Property President John DiGiovanni, who is additionally president of the Harvard Square Business Association. "While we might have incorporated solar modules to develop a glass atrium ceiling, this innovative, collective option allows us to record all the advantages of the present generation of solar PV also as we keep the flexibility to exchange in a lot more effective photovoltaic panels in future years without needing to change the atrium's glass ceiling."

The project uses transparent panels made by Lumos Solar of Colorado, which permit about 50% of sunlight to enter the atrium space for natural lighting as well as passive cold-season room home heating while producing solar PV power. Regarding 10-kW of solar panels have actually been mounted over the atrium glass, alongside another 56-kW mounted on the space as well as tower framework atop the structure. Incorporated, they can generate over the course of a year sufficient electricity to satisfy the demands of 10 average-sized Massachusetts residences and also are countering a substantial part of the overall electricity usage at 50 Church Street.

Haskell Werlin of Solar Design Associates, which acted as the proprietor's designer overseeing the project, claimed the project has produced a number of real-world lessons concerning one of the most reliable ways to mount semi-translucent solar panels, consisting of separating the variety from the glazing by mounting the components as a rainfall display placed on custom-made rails put on hold 9 in above the glazing to allow for replacing them in case of breakage or damage without needing to replace the actual roofing glass.