Date: 02/20/2009

Capitol Solar Panel Project


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

01:35 PM -- Capitol Solar Panel Project

Jennifer Hampton from the Governor's Office of Energy, Deon Wolfenbarger of Three Gables Preservation, and Lance Shepherd from the Office of the State Architect, provided information on the proposed display on the Capitol solar panel project. Ms. Hampton explained that she and Ms. Wolfenbarger had researched energy use at the Capitol, and showed the committee the draft via a PowerPoint presentation and responded to committee questions about the slides (see Attachment A).

Mr. Shepard noted that he would send the presentation in an electronic format to committee members after the meeting.

Ms. Hampton began, explaining that the display will address heating in the Capitol. The committee discussed the eight slides addressing the Capitol's heating system. The slides describe the building's steam heating system, which was originally powered by coal fired boilers housed in the sub-basement. The slides go on to describe the 1909 decision by the legislature to build a separate museum building, with new boilers, engines, and a heating and power plant beneath that carried steam and power to the Capitol through tunnels. The next slide addresses the heating system describe the heating plant building constructed in 1940 using Public Works Administration grants. The final slide explains that the Capitol no longer produces its own power, though the tunnels are still used to carry steam, water, and electricity to the building.

Next, Ms. Hampton described the three slides addressing cooling in the building. The slides explain that the architect designed the dome atop the rotunda to serve as a chimney to release hot air from the Capitol and circulate cooler, fresh air in the offices.

Ms. Hampton continued, describing the eight slides related to lighting in the building, noting that much of the light in the public areas is natural light, and moving into a discussion about carbide gas and electric lighting. The slides highlight the fact that over the years, some updates to the Capitol have removed or covered skylights and transoms, requiring more lighting to make up for the loss of natural light.

The next slides covered by Ms. Hampton addressed the technology changes over the years that effected how power was used at Capitol. Finally, she talked about slides addressing current energy usage, noting that the Capitol building is a leader in reducing energy consumption, increasing the use of renewable energy sources, and decreasing the environmental impact of state government operations.

Ms. Hampton concluded by describing the display that would illustrate the power output of the solar panels. Committee members asked a number of questions about the slides and suggested clarifications that would make the slides more meaningful for visitors.

01:53 PM

Ms. Contiguglia thanked and commended Ms. Wolfenbarger for her work on the slides about the history of energy usage in the capitol. Mr. Shepherd responded to questions about the display, explaining it would be placed in the south end of Mr. Brown's Attic and would run on a three to five minute cycle. The committee discussed the slides, providing recommendations on the text and other contents of the slides. Ms. Contiguglia suggested that some of the longer captions could be shortened. She also suggested that the slide presentation be given to a fifth- or sixth-grade student to read, to ensure that the display is timed to allow adequate time for a visitor of that age to read it.