Ironworkers from Local 404 in Harrisburg install the first SolarWall® in central Pennsylvania at the union’s offices.
The sun always shines brightest on the simplest of ideas. And the sun is shining a little brighter these days on G. M. McCrossin, a signatory contractor with Local 404 (Harrisburg, Penn.). It shines bright as the company installs more of the simplest green product in the country – SolarWall®.
Developed by Conserval Engineering, Inc. of Toronto in the ‘70s, SolarWall is an alternative heating source that helps to reduce energy consumption in buildings throughout the world. The alternative heating system combines perforated steel siding and a building’s existing ventilation system to produce higher efficiencies and savings through solar heat. What does this mean for the ironworker?
As a simple, no maintenance solar heating source, SolarWall is being called by some an initial step into green construction training for ironworkers. The system is installed similar to most siding or sheeting projects and falls within the jurisdiction of the ironworker. Additionally, with the rigging requirements of SolarDuct and PV Modules, McCrossin is planning on utilizing Local 404 and other locals throughout the country on future installations. McCrossin has installed two SolarWall modules on its own facility buildings, which were installed by Local 3 (Pittsburgh area) ironworkers. There are also several installations in the design phase currently.
“We continue to receive interest from many companies and business managers not only in Pennsylvania, but also in neighboring states, and customers are demanding alternative (green) energy solutions. Therefore we have expanded our offering to include community wind development, solar PV, methane to energy generation and solar thermal, which highlights the potential to provide future work throughout the region, if not the nation,” said Joe Leahey, Vice President of McCrossin.
SolarWall® paneling is installed much like siding or sheeting on any building. It’s a simple, maintenance-free solar heating source.
In conjunction with Zettlemoyer, McCrossin worked to install the first SolarWall in the central Pennsylvania region on the 404 hall. Zettlemoyer coordinated with General Treasurer Walter Wise, Scott Malley and Harvey Swift along with IMPACT and IMPACT Region II to provide funding and training for the installation. Leahey‘s team provided the design, fabrication and material for the project.
The Local 404 project included over 1,000 square feet of SolarWall, a 500 square foot glazed SolarWall and 140 square feet of SolarPV product that incorporates photovoltaic cells with SolarWall to improve heating efficiencies.
“The uniqueness of the product lends itself to combining other proven alternative energy solutions to create improved efficiencies,” said Mr. Leahey. “To ensure efficiencies in the product output and in the installation requires additional training, which we are working with the International to develop.
” In advance of the installation, 404 members received certification from Conserval Engineering as well as training that is being implemented into various ironworker green energy training manuals and modules. “With a focus on green energy and how this work will impact the ironworker in the future, this is one component that may lead to future work opportunities,” said Mr Wise. As a result of training, the installation was completed days ahead of schedule by members of Local 404.
In addition to this project, Zettlemoyer adds that the relationship with McCrossin continues to expand. “We are fortunate to have such a strong relationship with them and feel that this technology will strengthen it for years to come.”
Solar Heated Benefits
SolarWall provides various energy reductions and efficiencies, but it also provides LEED certification – nine points from the USGBC – and can increase the R-value of a building up to 50