Solar Part of New Life of Historic Mill Building
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Earlier this month music and celebration marked the opening of an old mill building in Biddeford that has been converted into housing units.
The 66 apartments Mill at Saco Falls showcase the greenest type of green building – taking an existing structure and repurposing it, preserving the building material as well as the cultural heritage of the historic structure.
Listen to the MPBN report:[audio:https://www.revisionenergy.com/mp3/MPBN-saco-mills-solar.mp3]
[Nathan Szanton of Maine Workforce Housing LLC] said the project entailed maintaining the mill’s historic character while incorporating significant green features. For example, solar panels on the roof that heat water required strategic placing to keep them out of sight, because the modern look of the panels would detract from the historic appearance of the building
The solar array consist of 25 American-made flat plate solar hot panels that will produce more than 1,000,000 Btu’s of energy on a bright sunny summer day.
The solar heated water is pumped into a massive 1,350 gallon storage tank, which is plumbed into the main domestic water feed.
In the summertime, the sun alone will be enough to heat the tank for showers, dishwashing, etc. In the colder months it will serve as a pre-heat for an existing gas boiler.
The high-volume solar thermal system will provide more than half of the building’s hot water needs – saving over 3476 Therms of natural gas annually!
Standing atop the river that made Saco and Biddeford boom towns in prior centuries, the new project is a strong statement to the marriage of tradition and our renewable energy future.