The Energy Interactive Fitness Center in St. James, Long Island, NY, is a workout addict’s dream, offering a unique interactive training approach supported by caring professionals who work hard to help members achieve their fitness goals. But that’s just part of the story as far as this new building goes. It is also a model for healthy, green building design.
In addition to solar-powered lighting, the interior of the facility utilizes products like soy-based window insulation foam and paints that eliminate off-gassing of volatile organic chemicals from conventional paints. Even its windows are “smart”, blocking 95% of the sun’s radiation to protect occupants.
To reach this level of environmental sophistication, Energy Fitness’ owners worked with renewable energy installers, GreenLogic LLC of Long Island, NY, to design and build a center that would incorporate energy saving technology from floor to ceiling--and beyond-- without compromising the striking aesthetics of the building..
The LEED consultant, Jonathan Murphy of the GreenShield Consulting Group, suggested daylight sensors for lighting systems to save electricity and get utility rebates, as well as plumbing fixtures to reduce water usage. But the consultant also used fly ash concrete for the building’s foundation to fill forms more completely, reduce the amount of concrete that would normally have to be used and do it all using up to 10 percent less water.
Green Logic also suggested a geothermal system installed by PGI Geothermal. It provides radiant in-floor heating, super-efficient cooling and does not require fossil fuel or external compressors. The system was designed to be able to isolate parts of the gym to establish distinct climates as needed for programs including hot yoga, spin and weight room.
The top of the structure was scrutinized as well. The owners and Green Logic called on Tom Link of TL Roofing & Sheet Metal of Westbury, NY, to install an 11,500 square foot standing seam metal roof capped with more than 3,450 square feet of building-integrated photovoltaic laminates needed to produce 12 kilowatts of electricity to help light the facility and power fitness equipment in the complex.
Link installed an Englert Series 2000 standing seam profile coated in SunNet Blue, the same color as the Englert SunNet PV laminate material, to meet strict local building code requirements mandating rooftop photovoltaics not be visible. The laminates were run on top of the 16-inch wide panels on the south and west areas of the roof to best capitalize on sunlight hitting the building. Crystalline panels would not have met building regulations while, in contrast, the blending of the SunNet Blue standing seam material and the PV laminates are almost impossible to be seen.
“Roofing contractors need to know, however, that if they want to be involved in alternate technology like this, they need an alternative energy installation firm specializing in new construction to work with them through the entire project lifecycle,” emphasizes Jean Pierre Cléjan, senior energy consultant at GreenLogic. “Understanding and figuring out rebates and tax benefits for these projects in the tri-state area can be very complicated. Add to that the technical aspects of designing and installing solar rooftop equipment that has little or no shadowing to maximize energy generation and financial payback and you have real reasons why good roofers should collaborate with energy specialists,” he added.