August 30, 2011
TORCOM CONSTRUCTION INC.
Solar photovoltaic panels installed on Vaughan, Ontario school rooftop
Ontario schools are finding new ways to help supplement their budgets, including the use of roof-mounted solar panels designed to take advantage of Ontario’s Clean Energy Act and Feed-In Tariff program for renewable power. A recent project involves the installation of a photovoltaic system on top of the York Region District School Board’s new Nellie McClung Public School in Vaughan.
Enermodal Engineering provided the electrical design and managed the implementation of the 338-module system. Evergreen Power Ltd. was the supplier and installer of the photovoltaic equipment, under sub-contract to TORCOM Construction Inc., a specialist in school construction and renovation. The general contractor has completed more than 45 school projects in the GTA over its 25-year-history.
“This is our first school project designed specifically for rooftop photovoltaic panels,” says Artin Chitilian, president of TORCOM Construction. “Once the system is operational, it will represent a great financial return for the school board.”
The solar panels were installed on top of the two-storey building in June with support from the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Renewable Energy Funding for Schools Initiative. Once connected to the power grid, the panels will produce 85 MWh of power per year, with an annual payback of about $61,000 per year to the school board in a 20-year fixed rate contract with the Ontario Power Authority.
The school will use some of the electricity it generates and students will incorporate performance and environmental data from the system into their class curriculum when the school opens in September.
View Larger Map
“The roof was prepared with special steel racking and then the photovoltaic units were lifted into place using cranes,” says Chitilian. The framing was designed by YDY Engineering, using a system that eliminates the need for ballasting by tying the module racking directly into the building’s structure.
“The only major difference on the roof itself is that we used more expensive white aggregate to help reflect the rays of the sun,” says Chitilian.
It’s the second such project for TORCOM. The first was a retrofit project in York Region’s Sutton Public School in Sutton.
“They decided to add the solar panels after the fact,” says Chitilian. “Since the school roof wasn’t designed to carry the weight of the panels, we had to reinforce the roof structure with added beams and supports to make provision for the panels. But the added construction costs will be offset by the sale of the power.”
Chitilian says he hopes such educational projects are part of a wave of the future.
“As long as the funding and encouragement are there, I think the school boards will continue to pursue clean power in new and retrofit construction,” he says.
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
- Lafarge’s research tackles cement’s “bad boy” image
- Waterloo Region LRT work agreement almost done
- RFP released to shortlisted teams for Milton hospital expansion
- The Working Dead — construction of a post-apocalyptic zombie world
- Upset waters over new Ontario diving regulations
- 20 Most Popular Stories
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 371 projects with a total value of $1,936,826,394 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Thursday.
$134,000,000 Toronto ON Prebid
$128,250,000 North York ON Prebid
$100,000,000 Toronto ON Prebid
- Debate swirls over OCOT’s merit on its anniversary
- WaterGarden Worker
- Ontario to invest in cycling infrastructure
- U.S. construction labour concerns
- Compulsory certification in carpentry a “job killer”, says Kenney
- CaGBC to provide free LEED registration and certification for commercial projects in disaster-hit cities
- Economic cost of weather catastrophes is under appreciated: report
- Scotiabank sees slow growth in housing
- Photo Gallery: 2014 ACEC BC Awards of Excellence winners
- Journal of Commerce Preview for the week of April 21st, 2014
- Making Metro
- Crumbling roads a key election issue
- Early stages of concrete pump operator certification being developed in B.C.
- Legal battle over temporary foreign workers heats up
- Dive tower pushes formwork forward
- Understanding municipal strategy
- Calgary firm fined $35,000 for workplace injury
- B.C. labour minister calls for WorkSafeBC reforms
- B.C. prison proceeding