Aside from all of the noise we are working under (literally – the hammers are pounding above my head as we speak!), we Meadowlark folks are all pretty darn excited about the latest project going on here at our offices. We are getting a brand-new roof…and not just any roof. This roof has a SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels) deck with DOW POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingles on top. So once all the pounding ceases, we will all sit quietly under a roof that will keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter – all the while it will silently generate renewable, emission-free electricity! (Right now I am looking forward to the “silent” part!)
For those of you new to the DOW POWERHOUSE™ product, in a nutshell, this is a solar panel that is fully integrated into a roofing shingle. Unlike typical solar roofing panels, the DOW POWERHOUSE™ solar shingle is flush with the rest of the roofing shingles and thus provides a more cohesive look to the roofline. You can add a Solar Inverter to convert the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) for use directly in your home, and/or you can have net metering – which dumps the electricity the shingles produce back into the grid. This energy is credited against the electricity you are using in the home. Dow has a good infographic to show how the shingles work. The icing on the cake is that the shingles have a 20 year guarantee and they are made in Midland, Michigan!
If you have stopped by to visit us, you know that the front part of our office is a red-brick schoolhouse that was built in 1874 – The Wagner School. The building has loads of charm and history, but it also has many, many issues. In the four years since we took over the building we have worked in a step-wise fashion to make this office not only a better place for its occupants, but also a building that is better for its surrounding environment. Meadowlark co-owners Doug Selby and Kirk Brandon are passionate about their goal of making this a “living building” that not only makes more energy than it uses, but also restores the environment around it. This latest project puts us closer to that goal and, although there are still lots more projects in the works, we have come so far from where we began.
Having been here from the very beginning, I like to look at what is going on in sort of an existential way…for me it’s all about the journey and loving every day of it.