Serge Ferrari North America Customer Celebrates 10 Years of Energy Savings

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Building owner saves $60,000 per year in energy costs thanks to building remodel with Serge Ferrari's Soltis FT 371 for facades

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the installation of Serge Ferrari’s Soltis FT 371 to the façade of the Sotheby's International Realty building in Rolling Hills Estates, California. This 30,000 sq. ft commercial building was once an eyesore in its community, extremely energy inefficient for the building owner, and uncomfortable for its occupants. But, 10 years later, the company’s Co-CEO Rick Edler reports he is extremely pleased with the project. Thanks to Soltis FT 371, the company has experienced energy savings of $60,000 per year, with tremendous improvement in aesthetics and comfort. Altogether, the company has saved $600,000 in energy costs and achieved a payback period from energy savings of only 2 years. In addition, with a more comfortable, usable and modern office space to promote to prospective tenants, Sotheby's enjoys the increased revenue of a 100% occupancy rate.

The single pane glass building was constructed in 1963 and, as was common for the time, without any energy savings technology installed. As a result, when Sotheby’s purchased the building in 2003, they were paying an electrical bill of $12,000 per month for a building that was only 40% occupied.

As Rick described: “The south side of the building is constantly getting the sunlight and constantly calling for cold, but the north side of the building doesn’t get the sunlight and is cool and is constantly calling for heat, so the A/C system just can’t keep up. It’s getting different demands and we were having constant troubles with it.”

To update the building, Sotheby’s first looked at replacing all the windows, but the $1 million cost was prohibitive. To come up with an alternative solution, they worked with Austin Kelly of X-Ten Architecture, a firm with textile façade experience in Europe, and Jim Miller with J. Miller Canvas. They selected Serge Ferrari’s Soltis FT 371, and after building a model and presenting the idea to the city, Rolling Hills Estates approved its use for the Sotheby’s building.

Ten years later, the result of the project has been beyond expectation: despite the fact that energy costs have gone up in the last 10 years, Sotheby’s is paying only $6-7,000 per month in electricity, which is almost half of what they paid 10 years ago. In addition, they did not need to upgrade their A/C system; the current unit size can easily keep up with demand, even in summer.

The reaction from the community and occupants has been very positive. During the day, the community sees a more modern building, while at night the lights inside the building can shine out, giving the building a beautiful translucent effect.

Occupants of the building enjoy an unobstructed view to the outside, with natural light coming in, but not glare or heat. Each suite has blinds installed on the inside of the building, but now with Soltis FT 371, those blinds are no longer drawn down which, as Rick describes, adds to the energy savings: “We were noticing that the (interior) shades were absorbing the heat during the day, then at night they would give off their heat inside. Now the heat doesn’t even get inside the building.”

Additionally, natural light that is comfortable can also reduce lighting costs: “…enough light comes in that about a third of the tenants on the south side don’t even turn on their lights in their suites; they override the motion sensors and keep the lights off, they prefer the natural light coming in.”

During installation, each panel was labeled and sized so any replacements or repairs could be easily made. But in fact, there has been no damage and no issues throughout the 10 years.

As summarized by Mr. Edler, “We have been exceptionally happy with it, and we’d definitely do it again.”

Soltis FT 371 is Serge Ferrari’s flagship product for façade applications. This flexible composite material is a 20% open mesh and available in a broad spectrum of designer colors. Soltis FT 371 is UV stable, lightweight, flexible and printable. It is manufactured with Serge Ferrari’s patented Precontraint® technology that ensures exceptional dimensional stability and flatness – no re-tensioning is required, and its smooth finish requires very little upkeep. While Soltis FT 371 provides long-term strength and durability (up to 25 years), it is also 100% recyclable at the end of its service life with Serge Ferrari’s exclusive Texyloop® program.

About Serge Ferrari
Serge Ferrari is a leading manufacturer of flexible composite membranes used globally for the solar protection, architectural, building facade, acoustics, modular structure, marine, furniture and visual communication markets. For the last 40 years, Serge Ferrari has paved the way for sustainable construction, energy control, protection and renewal of natural resources and design through its cutting edge technology, including its patented Precontraint® technology that ensures exceptional long term durability through dimensional stability, and Texyloop®, its exclusive recycling program. Serge Ferrari North America is based in Pompano Beach, Florida and handles sales and service of Serge Ferrari products in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. For more information, visit the company’s website: http://www.sergeferrari.com

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Elfriede Willson
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