"Real Buildings for Real People" – that's the theme of this year's annual Solar and Sustainability Spring Tour. Sun lovers who want to experience more than light and heat from our powerful star will be able to visit 15 properties throughout the Valley from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 28. Best of all, they will be able to meet and talk with the people who are living in and using the facilities on this free self-guided tour.
The tour gives visitors a chance to learn from people who have already taken steps to be more environmentally conscious. It is coordinated by the Arizona Solar Energy Association, the Arizona Solar Center, and the City of Scottsdale Green Building Program. Tour guides can be downloaded from the tour website or picked up at one of three locations:
Granite Reef Senior Center - 1700 N. Granite Reef Rd, Scottsdale
Edwards Residence - 8151 E. Smokehouse Trail, Scottsdale
Urban Farm - 6750 N. 13th Place, Phoenix
Attendees will see a wide range of solar applications including innovations in solar and sustainable design for private and public buildings. Highlights include using typical paper waste as construction material, and new residences that incorporate passive and active solar design.
A new development in south Scottsdale will provide another real life example of solar power use by next spring. The development of nine town homes, known as Array, is the first in the Phoenix area to be built with electric systems that employ solar panels as a standard feature.
Energy saving features such as energy efficient appliances, passive lighting, and floors of limestone or stained concrete that will help regulate temperatures will be included in homes in the development. Solar panels will produce electricity for the 1,700-square foot homes. In the hot summer months the homes will use all the energy they can produce plus some additional from SRP. But in cooler months, enough energy will come form the solar systems to actually return power to SRP's grid. Arizona's price of energy ranks in the top 20 nationally, so these savings can be good news for the homeowners.
Whether you are interested in solar power for environmental or financial reasons, come out to Scottsdale on Saturday April 28. The Solar and Sustainability Spring Tour will help us all breathe easier.
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