Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC)
Where: Houston, TX
Dedication Date: May 14, 2019
Donation Type: Net-zero solar array
Size: 76.7 kW
Claim to Fame: Additional solar will put HARC on track to become the first certified and operational net-zero commercial building in Texas
HARC is a nonprofit research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers. Its research activities support the implementation of policies and technologies that promote sustainability based on scientific principles.
HARC’s new headquarters is now the first certified and operational net-zero commercial building in Texas, thanks in part to solar purchased with a $136,000 Sun Club donation. The donation covered more than 200 new panels that will generate 76.7 kW of solar. This is in addition to the building’s existing 11.5 kW rooftop array. Using solar will save HARC $470,000 on electricity bills over the 30-year life of the array.
Sustainability is on show at the HARC headquarters, where a highly efficient geothermal heating and cooling system is composed of a network of 36 wells descending 300 feet below the parking lot. The LEED Platinum building’s innovative, air-tight envelope allows it to perform 2.5 times better than that of a typical commercial enclosure.