Case Study

Sustainable Future

Boulder Jewish Community Center Features Solar Array

October 22, 2020 Fiona Maguire-O'Shea
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Photo: Fred Fuhrmeister/Time Frame Images

Photo: Fred Fuhrmeister/Time Frame Images

The Boulder Jewish Community Center (Boulder JCC) in Boulder, Colo., is both grounded in the past and a contemporary interpretation of today’s sustainable design.

This two-story, 52,444-square-foot educational community heritage center provides programs and services based in Jewish values and traditions in a place where people of all ages and backgrounds gather to connect, exchange ideas, learn and grow together.

Designed and built by Colorado-based RB+B Architects and Calcon Constructors, the Boulder JCC was born from a desire to create something beautiful, functional and unique. Construction included a wing for daycare and education, a gymnasium and fitness center, a full commercial kitchen, a community hall with a state-of-the-art stage, a library, administrative offices and a large outdoor gathering area, complete with a fireplace.

On several of its rooftops, the Boulder JCC also includes a 74.4kW photovoltaic (PV) array, installed by The Solar Revolution. The main rooftop is a highly visible and gently curved standing seam metal roof.

In addition to solar on the main facility, a 7.2kW array is installed on the adjacent barn at the “Milk and Honey Farm.” The farm is completely powered by solar and serves as a valuable tool for the Boulder JCC’s educational and preschool programs.


The Challenge

The Boulder JCC is a 501c3, non-profit organization. Sustainability, energy efficiency and education are a priority for their members. 

The challenge was to find a cost-effective PV solution that presented a strong return on investment, which would make the project a no-brainer from a financial standpoint. Reducing their monthly operating costs would enable them to invest more money into meaningful community programs. 

The Solution

Generous grants from the City of Boulder and Boulder County, aimed at helping non-profits go solar, made this project a reality. Visibility and educational opportunities afforded by the solar were important to both the Boulder JCC and the grant committees.

The center is designed to be 30 percent more energy efficient than standard construction, and a 74.4kW PV array helps achieve this. In addition, it features a monitoring and informational kiosk located in the lobby, displaying specific project data, including CO2 savings and equivalent trees planted.

The arrays are mounted on the roof using S-5-PVKIT 2.0, which provides a simple, secure, economical and penetration-free method for attaching solar modules. Designed with the installer in mind, its quick and easy installation minimizes the time installers spend on the roof. 

The PVKIT’s pre-assembled components enabled installers to direct-attach PV modules to the roof’s standing seams using S-5! clamps and brackets, vs. a traditional rail mounting system. The PVKIT offers impressive savings across several metrics by which PV mounting systems are measured, while providing better load distribution.

The PV system reduces the Boulder JCC’s monthly operating costs, enabling them to invest more money into meaningful programs. Socially, the highly visible PV system sends a strong message to the community where the Boulder JCC stands regarding environmental stewardship for future generations.

Project Data

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Roofing Contractor: Douglass Colony

Solar Installer: The Solar Revolution

Architect: RB+B Architects

General Contractor: Calcon Constructors

Roof Profile: 22GA Firestone UC-3 Double Lock Standing Seam Roof Panel

Module Manufacturer: LG Solar

Inverter Manufacturer: Solar Edge

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