Photo courtesy Builders Guild Inc.
Best Specialty Contracting Project: MCFM Solar Thermal Installations

MCFM Solar-Thermal Installations

Phoenix  Region ENR Southwest

Project Team

Owner Maricopa County-Facilities Management Dept., Phoenix

Lead Design Michael Baker Corp., Phoenix

General Contractor Builders Guild Inc., Mesa, Ariz.

Engineers Landa & Associates, Phoenix; Walsh Engineering, Tempe, Ariz.

Consultants Greenfield Dynamics, Tempe, Ariz.; APS, Phoenix

Integrating new, large-scale solar-thermal systems with existing gas heating systems at two fully operational detention facilities without any loss of service reflects the "highest degree of difficulty," according to the judges. In total, 316 solar heat collectors will provide most of the daily hot-water requirements for 4,000 inmates while reducing emissions and saving over $55,000 a year. Sitework to cut into the existing systems was accomplished quickly and securely without a single recordable OSHA incident, due to extensive preplanning and the use of test rigs. The closed-loop system requires little maintenance.