Green Building

Alaska town uses stimulus money to add green technology to buildings

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 09:22

Though the Kodiak Island Housing Authority (KIHA) has noted the area's lack of sunlight may have discouraged the organization from installing solar panels in initial budget talks, they have changed their mind due to the various applications of the technology that they did not originally consider, according to the Columbus Republic.

The KIHA had considered the area's climate, but made the final decision to use the solar panels as a way to provide heat, as well as energy. This choice was made as a long-term sustainability measure as well as a way to harness the light that the region does receive, reported the news source.

"It makes as much sense as putting them in Chicago," Marty Shuravloff, executive director for the KIHA, told the news source in defense of the project.

The energy that is gathered from the solar panels will be used to provide electricity to residents, but most of the power that is collected will warm the radiant heating systems that were installed in government buildings and local stores, according to the Republic.

Radiant heating systems can also provide public buildings with a source of heat that does not pollute the air like traditional forced-air systems, as the technology doesn't require heating ducts or radiators.