Monday, November 1, 2010

Solar Pavilion

The how and the why of a solar pavilion!

Matt and Brad carry the second solar panel towards the creek and pavilion. The first panel can be seen already mounted on the transparent membrane creating a covered outdoor space over by the creek.

My project referrals keep unfolding leading to new projects, with Greenbelt Consulting connected me with these clients -- two wonderful people who have entrusted me to help them make their land right.

The main pond was completed just this summer. When more funds are available we hope to finish planting with the help of Fran Abel Landscape Design. The plants shown were salvaged from areas where we excavated.
On a piece of property at the bottom of a long slope from the Greenbank plateau down towards the west side of Whidbey Island, my clients had built a house and it had a serious water problem. Water flooded their land all last winter.
The stream, looking good, not far after completion.
Phase I was to regrade the topography so water could flow. Phase II was to collect the water and put it in a lined pond with an overflow area and get it operational as soon as possible. We are now in phase III, though the solar pavilion is a bit of an add on!

The upper pond early on. Surface water and water from the residence are collected here.
Collecting the water from the roofs and French drains, we created a lined collection pond, a lined stream, a lined retention pond and an over flow wetland. And though we are just beginning rainy season here in the Northwest, we've had enough over the last 8 months to see that it's working very well. There has been no flooding since we completed Phase I and II

15,000 gallons of water we pumped into the wetland this summer. Absorption was better than 1" per hour.
except when we pumped the main pond this summer to patch a small hole in the liner! We dumped 15,000 gallons of water into the wetland and I was encouraged to see it able to absorb all of this water in less than 24 hours.

Salvaged 5x5 treated fir posts with angle iron corners and pinned connection at top. Large retention pond and solar arbor site visible beyond hoops and perlins.

Of coarse, during the winter it won't be able to absorb so much, so the wetland will get wetter -- way wetter -- and deeper! It's capacity is several hundred thousand gallons which I anticipate it will occasionally need. Most of this water will come via the stream that should actively flow most of the winter.

One of the reasons I love salvaged lumber. To those that recognize it, it's old growth, clear, vertical grained fir. For those that don't, it's what I'd like to call a 'honey' or a 'BAPOW' (Bad Ass Piece of Wood)

During the summer the stream is nice for other reasons as well. It's refreshing and tranquil with the trickle of water, the shimmer of light, the flutter of birds, the croaking of frogs and the buzz of a healthy mix of insects. But, when there's no rain, to have a stream you have to pump the water and that takes energy.

The solar pavilion taking shape. A true wood and steel hybrid structure.

In an effort to make this project 100% green, the clients committed to a solar pump. I immediately suggested we create a solar pavilion to highlight the solar panels and pump rather than use traditional and less attractive pole mounting hardware. Of coarse the structure wanted to be sustainable too.

Looking under the solar panels. The aluminum brackets are mounted to the wood mullions which are sealed with glazing tape to the crystalite and then screwed from below. No fasteners visible on top, save for four holes for the solar feet.

Local steel work, local solar consulting, local wood from my salvage pile, low impact construction with sturdy steel and wood design I'll guarantee remains standing for longer than the life of the solar panels, makes this as sustainable as it can get!

Another sustainable project designed and constructed by dbBrad

Solar pavilion nearing completion. Still waiting on the clamping system for locking the angle into position.

Solar components and system design by Whidbey Sun and Wind.

Solar pavilion from below, creating an attractive usable space under the solar panels.
Steel work by Irish Welding.

Eckert/Lyon, Solar pavilion, Solar pump by Sun Pumps, pond, stream, wetland, low impact, DEW dbBrad

1 comment:

  1. You may be qualified for a new government sponsored solar energy program.
    Determine if you're qualified now!