Clif Bar is more than just a yummy, healthy snack for active people. It is also one of the growing number of companies that is looking at green options for their businesses. The headquarters for Clif Bar has just installed one of the largest rooftop solar array on a communal building in North America. This installation will generate enough power for the entire headquarters building, harnessing just the sun.
The Clif Bar owners have been very concerned about their footprint on the environment. The 115,000-square-foot building has also been working towards getting a LEED Platinum certification. This is the top rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for buildings to have. Currently, the 2,000 solar panels on top of the headquarters are called “smart panels”, in that they can generate 6 percent more power than a standard solar panel array.
“They have monitors in each panel, so if one isn’t working right, we can identify it and change out any cells that aren’t working right,” Clif spokesperson Renee Davidson said.
Clif Bar has had plans for this system for some time, and there are more plans to come in the future. The complete construction of the panels is supposed to be done in February, 2011. The solar panels will extend asd far as the parking lot, and possible provide solar power to electric cars that any employees might have.
The headquarters is a unique building in it’s own right, designed by the owner Erickson, an avid cyclist. Erickson wanted the headquarters to be as far from the typical corporate world design as possible. The building features four roofless atriums that are open to the sky, come sun or rain. Inside, the cubicles have low partitions to give an community feeling to the workers. The goals of the company is to create a place that is green and sustainable in many ways.
“A lot of businesses run the triple bottom,” she said. “We run five aspirations; those are sustaining our business, sustaining our brands, sustaining our people, sustaining our community and sustaining our planet. Using an existing building, reclaimed building materials and the solar panels fit into those aspirations,” Davidson said.
Photo credit: Clif Bar