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October 22, 2012
The project, completed by Barrier, a Fresno, Calif., roofing, solar, coatings and insulation company, included the installation of asolar electric system, an Energy Star rated foam roof and a complete rewiring of store’s inefficient electrical system. In the early 1900s, the building housed Montgomery Ward, but has been home to Beverly Fabrics since the 1970s.
At the heart of the project are 450 rooftop solar panels that drive the 117-kilowatt solar electric system. To add to the overall energy efficiency, Barrier replaced the antiquated electrical system and applied a sprayed polyurethane foam roof.
Bob Sleeper, one of the Beverly Fabrics owners, said the overhaul was just part of the ownership group’s commitment to going green. The four owners have also installed solar electric systems on each of their personal residences and are investing in LED technology to reduce electricity usage.
“It’s good for the environment, it’s the right thing to do and it lowers energy costs,” Sleeper noted. “It was a big endeavor, but it was very well worth it. As soon as the solar electric system was turned on, the meter was spinning backward.”
Additional benefits, Sleeper noted, are that the entire site is now energy efficient, greenhouse gasses are reduced and the local economy got a boost. “The city was behind us all the way and they were great to work with,” Sleeper added.
Andy Zavorek, director of sales for Barrier, said, “Not only will this mean electrical cost savings, the upgrades serve the environment. It will literally eliminate their electric bill, and the store will be completely energy independent in seven years.”
The project brought Barrier some exciting challenges including working on a busy, one-way downtown street, craning panels onto the rooftop and ensuring that the store could remain open throughout the three-month process.
Beverly Fabrics’ San Luis Obispo location is at 874 Higuera Street.