Zions Technology Campus - Solar Installation
Award of Merit
Submitted by: Hunt Electric Inc.
Owner: Zions Bancorporation
Developer: Gardner Co.
Lead Design Firm / MEP Engineer & Solar Module Contractor/Installation: Hunt Electric Inc.
General Contractor: Okland Construction Co. Inc.
Structural Engineer: Epic Engineering
Excavation: Siri Contracting
Powering a 400,000-sq-ft LEED Platinum campus required the design and installation of a custom and extensive solar array. This system includes a total of 4,345 solar modules, with 1,519 roof modules, 1,488 ground mount modules and 1,338 canopy modules. It generates up to 1.78 MW of solar energy, or more than 75% of the electricity needed to power the Zions campus.
Completed in May 2022, the project also sits on a Superfund site with contaminated soil, so an EPA-required protective liner sits beneath the topsoil. Crews couldn’t drill through this liner, so footings could only be placed 2 ft deep—much shallower than the standard 4 ft to 6 ft to adequately stabilize the structure. Since these footings supported a solar array that was to be mounted on a 50-yd-high hillside with an 18-degree slope, the footings’ shallow depth increased the risk of the array sliding off the hill.
In collaboration with the structural engineer, the electrical contractor designed and installed one uninterrupted footing that ran down the entire hillside in a single, solid section instead of individual unconnected piers that required deeper foundations.