1950s Anchorage office building gets eco-makeover

Anchorage Daily NewsFebruary 9, 2011 

One of downtown Anchorage's aging office buildings is about to get an eco-friendly makeover.

As the days grow longer this spring, a towering wall of 64 solar energy panels is scheduled to arise on the Fifth Avenue and E Street building, which sits just east of the Egan Convention Center. It's one of the few solar projects of its kind in Alaska.

The 1957 building already needed a face lift, said Anchorage businessman Steve Zelener, who purchased it last August.

Unsightly metal panels cover the building's south side -- the part most visible to pedestrians.

Zelener knew replacing the panels could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Why bother with granite or metal? Why not create a ground-breaking renewable-energy project in the heart of downtown Anchorage?

It didn't hurt that many of Zelener's tenants in the building are conservation groups interested in reducing fossil-fuel dependence.

Zelener and his colleagues reasoned that the solar panels might help make the four vacant units in the building attractive to other green groups and to cutting-edge firms.

Read the complete story at adn.com

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