The Renewable Energy category features the use of renewable energy on a small or large scale, such as civic or commercial implementation or residential or small business integration. Renewable energy includes sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, or geothermal. These projects will seek and have success in decreasing use of fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions, as well as serving as viable models for others looking to adopt renewable energy solutions.
The Steffensmeier Solar Field was the result of employees meeting to determine the benefits of solar energy at the manufacturing plant. The Steffensmeier Solar Field is functioning at 100%, or 430.66 kW, and comprised of 1412-305 watt panels spanning 3-½ acres adjacent to the manufacturing headquarters in Pilot Grove, Iowa and will significantly reduce overall costs over a 4-5 year time period and have a return on costs after 5-6 years. It was designed to power all of the company’s electrical needs on a net-annual basis and is the first industrial manufacturing operation in Iowa. Using net-metering, the array will overproduce electricity in the summer, allowing credit to build with the serving utility. The credit is then drawn upon during winter months when production is lower due to shorter daylight periods and more cloudy days.
The Renovated Commercial category highlights the use of existing structures for commercial purposes. Sustainable qualities include but are not limited to the use of salvaged materials as well as sustainable building materials, utilization of energy-efficient technologies, the adherence to historical preservation practices if applicable, plus the integration of walkability, placemaking, and alternative transportation options. Projects that solicit and implement community feedback are also valued qualities.
The Market One Building, located in Des Moines’ East Village, is on the National HIstoric Register and used state and federal tax credits to restore and repair 97.8% of the structure, floors, roof, and building envelope. It adaptively reuses a factory for commercial space. A glass-enclosed conference room and 3000 square feet of deck and shade canopy were added to the roof.
(photo of roof coming soon)
The remainder of the roof was covered with photovoltaic panels and a planted (green) roof system. Additional primary sustainable building elements include: mini-rain gardens, native and perennial plantings, and capture and delay water retention; geothermal heating and cooling technologies; solar photovoltaics on the parking canopy (with the roof array, the building has net-zero status); dual flush toilets; permeable walk surfaces; maximized daylighting, LED lighting, sensors and lighting controls; dedicated parking for HOV workers and four charging stations for electric vehicles; and showers at each floor level. The combination of geothermal and solar energy sources along with LED lighting and an advanced refrigerant-based heating and cooling system has allowed project to achieve net-zero energy usage. The project is LEED platinum eligible.