Lillis Business Complex

The University of Oregon’s Lillis Business Complex in Eugene took green to new levels with its building envelope, using low-emissivity glass in addition to building integrated photovoltaics. The 145,000-square-foot building received Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

The university uses the BIPV for more than just an energy saver, says Patrick Boucher, western regional sales manager for curtain wall supplier Vistawall Architectural Products of Terrell, Texas. “They wanted to be environmentally friendly; be on the cutting edge of technology,” he says. “But part of it was also to have something students could learn from. They have a kiosk set up to monitor energy savings.”

Lillis features 11⁄4-inch insulating photovoltaics in Vistawall’s CW-250 curtain wall with the wiring harness routed back to DC/AC converters. Saint-Gobain Glass Solar of France supplied the photovoltaics.

PPG Glass of Pittsburgh supplied 1-inch insulating units with its Solarban 60, low-E glass, for the rest of the building.

SRG Partnership Inc. of Portland, Ore., was the architect for the project, and Lease Crutcher Lewis, also of Portland, was the general contractor.

Northwestern Industries Inc. of Seattle served as the glass fabricator, and
Pacific Glass Inc. of Renton, Wash., did the installation.

Bernie Thueringer, president of Pacific Glass, says the big challenge for glaziers is safely installing the hot panels alongside the electrician who connects the wires.

“You have to let the electrician do their tests to make sure the panel is good—that conductivity is going through—before you put it into the opening,” Thueringer says. “And you have to be cautious, because you’re dealing with an electricity-producing product. The minute you set the panels into sunlight, they become hot and start producing energy.”