St. Bartholomew's Chapel - Rincon Reservation

Custom-Bilt Metals

Custom-Bilt Metals, a company with a long history of environmental leadership through product innovation, and metal roofing contractor, Unique Concepts Inc., announce the completion of a 5.7kw solar system integrated with standing seam metal roofing on the newly rebuilt St. Bartholomew’s Chapel on the Rincon Reservation, Valley Center, CA.

The original, historic St. Bartholomew’s Chapel on the Rincon Reservation was burned down as a victim of the huge 2007 Poomacha wildfire. Only the chapel’s bell tower survived the blaze, but in May 2010 month the historic Rincon Chapel was completed with many interesting innovations—mainly green and environmentally friendly.

The architect, Kevin deFreitas, is a long-time Escondido resident who offered his services upon hearing about the tribe’s loss. The project cost $3.2 million and the resulting new 3,356-square-foot chapel seats 140 worshippers, more than twice the capacity of the original. The chapel walls use a traditional, energy-efficient rammed-earth technique, which combines soil from the reservation with cement and the chapel’s altar is decorated with a mighty oak from the historically shared lands of a nearby tribe. The new design more than doubles the chapel’s occupancy, available parking, ADA access and includes communal amenities like a full kitchen.

“Unlike visually obtrusive polycrystalline panels that are racked and attached by drilling through a roof, FusionSolar is fused directly to the standing seam panel, visually blending in without penetrating the roof,” said Tony Chiovare, president of Custom-Bilt Metals. “The green building attributes of FusionSolar in combination with energy savings make it the ideal solar product for the beautiful architecture of a place of worship. Lying flat on top of the surface, the flexible thin film flows with the roof profile even on curved designs.”

“Given the temperature extremes and potential severe wind and weather events of the Escondido valley region, the durable thin-film laminate solution adhered to standing seam metal roofing is the best option because of its tested ability to withstand winds of up to 160 miles per hour,” added Chiovare. “The FusionSolar thin-film laminate technology achieves a higher relative efficiency under high temperatures and low light than solar glass for year round power generation.”

“Our business expertise is installing metal roofs and this was our first integrated solar roof,” said Robert Ferguson, president of Unique Concepts. “Adding solar to this chapel project was extremely easy. The installation was very simple with pre-solar integrated panels typically being delivered on site, and in the case of a larger project like this where roofing panels are roll-formed on site, the PV was applied to the standing seam with very little additional effort.”

“The wiring portion was a breeze for our normal electrical contractor and for our roofing team completing wiring on the roof there was only a single roof penetration that was easily flashed with a pipe flashing boot – it was almost as simple as hooking up a stereo.” added Ferguson. “Specifications, drawings and hardware are clear so that any electrical contractor can make the simple connections to the main electrical service; no need for specialized solar expertise from the electrician. And everyone, including the tribal committee working on the chapel, was amazed to just flip a switch and immediately see the system working and the meter running backwards.”

Custom-Bilt Metals has consistently led the market in metal roofing materials by delivering environmentally sustainable metal roofing products through ‘cool roof’ innovation. The new and innovative solar system is an effective roofing solution for virtually any roofing project, new building or replacement roof. Custom-Bilt Metals’ FusionSolar system won the PCBC 2009 “Cool Product” designation in the energy saver category.

About Custom-Bilt Metals

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