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Net Zero Update Project Update #2

September 3, 2021

I last reported to you in May that all the work on Carpenter Hall was on hold due to contractor delays in taking down the dropdown ceiling. This work was completed on the 14, 15, and 16 of May. I also explained that once the Carpenter Hall ceiling was taken down, the solar panel contractor, Sustainable Energy Systems (SES), would begin the installation of a 44.03kW Photovoltaic Solar array in two phases. The first phase is the laying of conduit under the roof deck in Carpenter Hall. The second phase will consist of installing an array of 119 REC 370-watt Alpha series panels or modules; one Solaredge Inverter and DC Optimizer; and an Everest Crossrail Racking System (for asphalt shingles).  We anticipated that all this work would be completed by the end of July barring any unforeseen complications like the slow permitting process we encountered with Arlington County during the campus renewal process.

Unfortunately, we have been in hold mode with the installation of the solar panels since that time. The contractor, SES, was able to lay the conduit under the roof deck in Carpenter Hall; however, we have not been able to have the new insulation installed in the ceiling of Carpenter Hall, nor have we been able to install the new dropdown ceiling because the conduit must be inspected by the County. The contractor, SES, submitted their specification to the County on June 26, but because the contractor is from Maryland and is unfamiliar with the Arlington permitting process, they are having difficulty in getting their specifications approved according to the County’s guidelines. We are currently recommending that SES hire a professional expediter to help them get through the County’s permitting process.

Once the first phase of the solar installation is completed, we will have Fifth Fuel, the insulation contractor, return to install closed cell foam insulation to achieve an R38 insulation level in the Carpenter Hall roof deck. This closed cell insulation will then be covered with intumescent paint to create a 15-minute thermal barrier. After the Carpenter Hall insulation is put into place, the new dropdown ceiling will be installed and the first phase of the Net Zero project will be completed.

We will be starting the second phase of the Net Zero project once we have completed phase one. This second phase will include getting estimates and proposals from contractors for designing and installing building automation to include security, heating and a/c controls, lighting controls, etc.; installation of new windows in Neighborhood House and the Parsonage; and installation of shades in the Sanctuary windows.

~ Peter Geiger