CHALLENGE – Built in 1956, the MU at ASU is the “living room of the campus”, its community center. A 254,000 square foot building that services more than 14,000 people a day, the MU opens out onto an expansive pedestrian mall that connects it with Hayden Library and Cady Fountain, a gathering place for students. Exposed and sun baked, this outdoor area had mature vegetation and trees but was uncomfortable and unusable many months out of the year, forcing everyone indoors and choking the building.
STRATEGY – Install PowerParasol connecting the MU, the Library and Cady Fountain all under the canopy of shade without damaging existing mature vegetation and trees. Build larger vertical columns and install LED lighting to provide nighttime light shows and security. Create stage space and wire for speakers, sound and television for outdoor gatherings.
RESULT – Complete space transformation. The PowerParasol at the MU was not designed for maximum energy production, it was designed to change the way students, faculty and visitors use the space surrounding the MU. It has extended the MU into the outdoors, creating comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment in which to gather spontaneously, or for planned events.
Final project specs: 397 kW DC with 1,380 photovoltaic solar panels over 35,840 sq. ft. (0.82 acres)