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Hamann Heats Up Energy Savings at Cold Storage Facility with SunPower Solar Array
February 15, 2009 | a SunPower case study

From office buildings to breweries, chapels to churches, and stores to storage facilities, Hamann Construction has completed more than 50,000,000 square feet of building projects throughout Southern California. Keeping in mind the company's focus on environmentally friendly construction, Hamann has also appointed a LEED-accredited (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) professional within the firm who specifically guides Hamann's project teams through the implementation of energy-saving features. With the completion of the company's newest facility, the Innovative Cold Storage II building (ICE II) in Otay Mesa, CA, Hamann is truly raising the bar in green construction: Combined with a multitude of highly energy-efficient features including day-lighting and high-efficiency controllable lighting, a cool roof, hybrid forklifts, increased ventilation, low VOC materials, carbon dioxide monitors and reflective concrete, almost three-quarters of this cavernous building's power will be supplied by a 1,138 kW SunPower solar rooftop array. This unique combination of smart, environmental features are expected to help the building attain LEED Gold certification in 2009.

  • Meets 72% of the building's energy requirements
  • Reduces ICE II's annual electricity costs by over $82,000
  • Provides a built-in financial hedge against rising electricity rates
  • Will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 47 million pounds over 30 years; equivalent to planting 4,860 acres of trees or removing 3,896 cars from California roads
  • Contributes to Hamann Companies' sustainability culture, practices, and environmental impact.
For years Hamann has been at the forefront of green construction, incorporating the use of recycled materials and promoting such renewable energy resources as solar and wind. Its construction of the massive Otay Mesa 60 foot tall cold-storage facility capped a full four years of design. The building's list of exceptional energy-saving features is extensive, and will dramatically reduce the use of conventional power. "This building, which will be an addition to the original plant, will store four times as much product, using half as much power...and 72 percent of that will come from solar energy," says Gregg Hamann, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Hamann Construction."

As Hamann was investigating the use of leading-edge design features for the enormous facility - such as its ultra-flat concrete floor designed to enable specially made Japanese electric and rechargeable, high-lift forklifts to meticulously maneuver the transportation of products 50 feet into the air - Project Architect Paul Giese was also soliciting information from solar power vendors. "We considered ten different suppliers, and then narrowed the field down to three," he notes. At the end of the bidding process, SunPower was awarded the contract for the rooftop solar installation based on both its experience level, and highly efficient and unique product technology. "SunPower made the offer very attractive," says Giese. "Many of the vendors were ruled out because the facility's custom foam roof designed to keep temperature levels at or below 20-degrees dictated that we could not have a 'penetrating' solar roof system. The SunPower PowerGuard roof solution was not only non-penetrating, but proved fast and easy to install, while adding an additional layer of R10 insulation to further aid cooling the overall facility. As a result, it is really providing the ideal solar technology solution for building integration."

Hamann's financing of the new facility was equally innovative: Hamann entity Innovative Oil and Gas entered into a joint venture with San Diego Gas & Electric, with each paying half the cost of the system. "Together we've created a sustainable community," Hamann notes. Giese adds that installing the solar power system was much faster and easier than he had anticipated. "Construction began in October, and was completed in December, three-months total," he says. "I was very surprised at how quickly the entire process went. I was also extremely impressed with SunPower's installers; they were top-notch, and helpful in several areas. I believe that our SunPower system will provide many short- and long-term advantages for our corporation."

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