Nothing Typical About It

Photo Courtesy of ATAS

Solar-collecting Walls Breathe New Life into an Industrial Structure

Built in the 1880s, Building 3 had become an eyesore on an industrial campus in Pottstown, Pa. Once owned by Bethlehem, Pa.-based Bethlehem Steel Co., Building 3’s illustrious history included the production of components used in the Golden Gate Bridge. However, as the years passed, the building was abandoned and neglected.

In 2007, Cigas Machine Inc., Pottstown, discovered Building 3 and determined the 73,000-square-foot space provided the room needed to manufacture stainless-steel plate products for industrial, commercial and architectural applications. Despite Building 3’s age and appearance, the basic metal structure was in good condition. However, the lack of heat and insulation, as well as inadequate ventilation, made the building’s temperature extremes unbearable most of the year. A solution to Building 3’s problems was a transpired solar collector wall system.

Project Team

  • Building owner and lead-project engineer: Craig Cigas, Coatsville, Pa.,
  • Architect: Ap3C Architects, Philadelphia,
  • Contractor: Scenic Ridge Construction, Gordonville, Pa.,
  • Engineer: Wachter& Associates, West Deptford, N.J., (856) 686-0900
  • Structural engineer: Providence Engineering Corp., Lancaster, Pa., // MacIntosh Engineering, Wilmington, Del.,
  • Civil engineer: D.L. Howell & Associates Inc., West Chester, Pa.,
  • Manufacturers: InSpire Transpired Solar Collector System, ATAS International Inc., Allentown, Pa., // Tectum Inc., Newark, Ohio,

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