Greensburg Trip – SunChips Business Incubator

Posted: November 5, 2010 in Being Green, Green Technology

Part of Greensburg’s major push was to prevent the loss of its residents.  It’s population was around 1,500 before the 2007 tornado and dropped to 300 people after it hit as almost every home was destroyed except the northwestern part of town.  In order to help businesses come back and adapt, Greensburg decided to create a business incubator which would allow them to have a retail place to start up right in the center of town, charge a reasonable rent, low utility payments, etc. until the business gets its feet off the ground and moves into a new building (likely under construction).

SunChips Business Incubator

Common Theme with my Son in Picture (He is modeling a Greensburg Coffee Travel Mug)

Smart Streetscape with drought tolerant plants, trees to provide shade and storm water runoff collection systems.

This building was funded by USDA, Frito-Lay (maker of SunChips), and even the actor Leonardo DiCaprio (please note the roof mounted solar panels give the effect of his front bangs).  This building features active systems (6.8kW PV solar system and geothermal HVAC system); passive systems (gray water collection system for dual use toilets and landscape watering, smart lighting system, R-30 insulated walls, overhangs on windows to reduce sun exposure during summer, drought tolerant landscaping, and green landscaping on the roof); and use of reclaimed materials which gives this building an annual energy cost savings of 50% over a similar building of its size.  For more information on the Business Incubator, click here.

Back of Incubator with sloped roof panels, strategic window placement and landscaping.

Runoff area when underground cistern gets full with rain water.

SunPower Solar charge control panel - shows kW hour generation - Enought to power building's current electrical load.

Water / HVAC controls / piping including graywater systems.

Gray Water storage tank for dual flush toilets - water is filtered from rain from roof.

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