Cigas Machine Shop needed to expand its operations, when owner Craig Cigas located a vacant 74,000 sq. ft. building in Pottstown, PA. A strong steel structure and thick concrete slab were positive attributes, but the un-insulated space with 65'-high interior created significant operational inefficiencies. The building also experienced extreme temperature shifts. Using historical data, Cigas estimated the cost to heat the Pottstown machine shop would be roughly $350,000 per year.
Understandably, Cigas wanted to turn the heavy industrial structure into a quality workplace that resulted in reduced energy consumption while offering Cigas Machine Shop employees better air quality. By accomplishing these objectives, the manufacturing operation moved to the forefront of green industrial facilities - with the help of InSpire™ Wall transpired solar collecting wall panels from ATAS International.
Hiring AP3C Architects of Philadelphia to design the sustainable renovation, Cigas and his design team came up with a new environmentally sensitive footprint featuring solar collecting wall panels. The southern façade is covered with the transpired, or porous, solar collector wall system (InSpire™ Wall) composed of 11,670 square feet of 0.032-inch aluminum wall panels with a black finish.
The results were impressive. The machine shop was completed in 2007, with actual fuel costs reduced to just $890 in the first year. “We turned a six-figure problem into a three-figure solution”, Cigas said. “There are a lot of great high- and low-tech solutions in the market, but the key is good design that works with what you can’t change.”
Martin Breen of AP3C said the renovation hit the mark. “The machine shop has a contemporary aesthetic that represents the world-class manufacturing processes taking place inside. It stands out in the stark industrial landscape and is a shining example of how industrial facilities can be environmentally responsible."