For the largest multi-tenant net-zero energy project at a commercially leased building in the United States, IPS was selected to design and install 575 kW of SunPower solar panels, which are integrated on to every available square foot of the roofs and east-facing, vertical façades. In total, there are 1,072 high-efficiency panels on the roofs and 655 on the east façade of the south building.

Because all 100,000 square feet of the commercial multi-tenant Boulder Commons is committed to the goal of net zero energy, innovative design was the key to success for this project.

Boulder Commons is a new commercial development, adjacent to Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado. By installing SPR360 solar panels, which boast the highest efficiency commercially available, Boulder Commons is able to achieve their net-zero energy goal. A first-of-its-kind challenge, IPS was tasked with engineering a means of installing the solar panels vertically on the east wall to maximize energy production and meet the net-zero goals of the client. The challenge there was to not only attach the panels securely but to create a complete wall surface that was both aesthetic and functional as the cladding of the wall. The end result came out beautifully and exceeded expectations.

IPS took the unconventional approach of mounting the roof solar modules facing east and west versus the traditional south-facing orientation. The approach of building south-facing rows with separations between them prevents one row from shading the row behind it, but the spacing creates unused roof area. A ‘dual-tilt’ east and west orientation allowed IPS to fit 35% more modules on the roof than if it were a south-facing array, which results in approximately 10% less production than facing it south, but 20% more energy production as a net result.

Developed and owned by Morgan Creek Ventures, the project set a replicable example of the business case for net-zero energy and demonstrated the lucrative returns of installing solar. Because Morgan Creek Ventures chose to purchase the solar panels, the developer expects to see a 6.2 percent return from the solar installation.

Boulder Commons drone shot of solar building

Boulder Commons drone shot of solar building