Solar Innovations’® new 155,000 square foot facility in Pine Grove, PA, showcases the specialty glass enclosure manufacturer’s products complemented by a state-of-the-art, custom-designed manufacturing facility constructed by Hoover Building Specialists, LLC, a Ceco Building Systems authorized builder since 1992.
Solar Innovations® - which manufactures residential and commercial conservatories, greenhouses, sunrooms, skylights, glass doors, walls, windows and screens - recently moved into its Pine Grove, Pa., plant. Owner Greg Header is extremely energy conscious, and because energy conservation plays a primary role in the company’s products, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards were used in the design and construction of this facility.
The new building features a two-story sprinkled office/light fabrication area with elevator and large 16’ x 16’ two-story high glass/aluminum skylight and glass curtain wall. A 3,000 square foot aluminum and glass entry invites visitors into a working greenhouse, conservatory, indoor pond and sunroom. A single-story 138,000 square foot manufacturing/storage/dock area features a 50’ x 600’ mezzanine with three stair towers which are perhaps the most intriguing portion of the entire facility.
Because of the complexity of the facility’s design, three framing systems were used throughout the building, including clear-span, lean-to and multi-span.
“Hoover and Ceco worked with the client on the design for a year,” said Tim Schrock, Vice President/Sales, Eastern Region, for Ceco. “This new structure is a testament to Hoover’s capability and dedication to their customers’ needs. Once they were awarded this project, they wouldn’t let go. There was a lengthy design process to provide Solar Innovations® with exactly what they wanted. The Hoover team dedicated themselves to the project and provided a beautiful building.”
According to Schrock, the imposing equipment platform is actually one of two in the facility which carry a 125-pound load and consists of a structural steel and bar joist system. “Ceco and Hoover interfaced the platform with the glasswork, which was complicated and difficult,” commented Schrock.
The project team for the new building included Tom Schaller, project manager from Hoover Buildings, and Joe Turnowchyk, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP of Beyond Architecture, who handled code review, building code requirements and final architectural drawings submitted for building permit and mechanical plans.
“The owner loves the outdoors,” said Schaller. “He loves to hunt and fish, and because of the nature of Solar Innovations’® product line, the new facility was filled with glass to enable employees to see the beautiful area surrounding the plant.” Over 80 polycarbonate wall panels surround the perimeter to let in natural light.
“Solar uses LEED standards in its products every day,” says Schaller, “so it was appropriate that their own facility be built with these features in mind.”
LEED features in the new building include preferred parking for energy-efficient and carpool vehicles, bike racks, a roof prepared for photovoltaic panels, a cistern and bio-retention basins to contain rainwater runoff. Solar Innovations® expects to soon receive LEED platinum certification.
The beautiful new space did not come without challenges, however. Because of the “L” shape of the lot, Hoover re-designed around the site and also in compliance with 2003 International Building Code requirements. Among the site challenges was the fact that the building was being constructed in a former wheat field filled with rocks and boulders, and with a stream running through it. Hoover had to create a swale for flood plain issues, and part of the site was a hill that had to be removed.
Hoover prepared the preliminary entry layout for the many glass portions of the building. “We tweaked the inside corner and angles,” added Schaller. “And, we incorporated a large skylight with a glass ceiling for daylight on both floors. There’s also a folding glass wall to show customers the company’s products.”
The warehouse was designed to accommodate three overhead cranes for unloading and features both interior and exterior shipping docks. The office second floor is partially finished and will be used for sales and architectural training meetings.
Side walls included an expansion joint on this single-slope building. High “R” values were required for LEED certification, so R-43 insulation, provided by Therm-All, was used in the roof, along with R-26 in the walls. The building is fully lined.
The exterior includes a Ceco 24-gauge CXP Galvalume® standing seam roof, and side walls are Ceco’s 26-gauge MSP Shadowlite in Almond. Wall liners are MVW full-height 26-gauge panels.
About Hoover Building Specialists
Hoover Building Specialists of Honey Brook, Pa., was founded in 1989 by Allen Hoover and is presently owned and operated by his son Richard Hoover. The company specializes in pre-engineered steel buildings and serves a broad range of clients including industrial, commercial, institutional and agricultural. In addition to steel buildings, the company’s projects also include renovations, wood and masonry construction. Services offered include design and permitting, site work, foundations, construction and building details. For more information, visit www.hooverbuildings.net.
Photos copyright, Solar Innovations, Inc.