Best Supporting Role: Legacy Building Solutions’ rigid steel frame enables roof-mounted solar panels
Legacy Building Solutions has announced the Solar Ship Brantford off-grid hangar, a joint venture with Canadian Energy and Solar Ship Inc., has been awarded the “Game Changer Project of the Year” by Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA). With the award for Solar PV Project, CanSIA recognizes the hangar for using a reliable and cost-effective system that advances the future of building-integrated distributed generation.
Located in Brantford, Ontario, the 40,597-square-foot hangar uses energy generated by photovoltaic cells on the roof and runs completely independently of the traditional power grid. The hangar is designed to accommodate the size and shape of the aircraft, which have an anticipated wingspan of up to 164 feet.
“All Legacy buildings have some sustainability features,” said Jim Kumpula, general manager of Legacy Building Solutions of Canada. “Working with Solar Ship forced us to consider how every aspect of the building can be greener.”
The hangar, engineered, manufactured and installed by Legacy, is a fabric structure on a rigid steel frame. The strength of the frame combined with the lightweight fabric enabled the 176-foot by 231-foot building to be built 60 feet high at the eaves, with an interior clearance of 82 feet.
The sturdy steel frame supports the weight of the photovoltaic cells as well as 1.18 kPa roof rain-on-snow load. The roof frames run parallel to the cells, preventing uplift in high winds and contributing to optimal operation of the solar panels. The energy-efficient design of the hangar also includes a passive ventilation system and natural light to reduce the power needed to run the hangar, which is used to manufacture and store Solar Ship’s solar-powered aircraft.
Lewis Reford, a partner at Solar Ship, said, “Legacy Building Solutions has given Solar Ship more than just a state-of-the-art hangar and assembly building. Through our close collaboration, their design incorporates a self-reliant photovoltaic power package that sits above the fabric roof, allowing our building operations to be entirely off-grid. In addition, Legacy’s foundation design allowed us to re-use an existing concrete pad, saving us time and money during construction. These innovations were part of our top-level requirements, and delivering on them really sets Legacy apart from the traditional building segment.”