McLaren in the Alternative Energy Market

Carport PV System - In-House Rendering

As the world continues its move toward a greener, more sustainable age, McLaren is playing a major role in the engineering and implementation of a variety of photovoltaic (PV) systems.

In the past year alone, McLaren has been involved with the engineering and design of over 100 PV systems - encompassing building rooftop-mounted systems, ground-mounted systems, and solar carports - providing in-depth expert services across all phases for installations of all sizes and types.

For rooftop-mounted systems, McLaren first investigates the building site. Then a structural engineering review of the building structure is performed to verify it can support the additional load. Wind tunnel studies on the PV systems are also reviewed to verify they have adequate ballast for the site-specific conditions (i.e., roof and building profile, wind exposure and velocity). McLaren also works with building insurance companies to verify we are meeting their requirements so the building’s coverage is not adversely affected.

McLaren has designed custom carport solutions for open-terrain parking lots or for the tops of parking garages – designs that encompass both the structure itself as well as the foundation system. The challenge with these designs is to develop cost-effective and modular schemes with a great amount of repetition from job to job. Total costs must consider steel fabrication, corrosion protection, foundation work, and installation. We have also been tasked to produce designs in which aesthetics are key, so we have worked to develop several framing system approaches to suit this preference.

Ground-mounted system development typically requires surveys, test boring services to determine the needed foundation system, and support during the PV system selection phase.

Through our extensive nationwide experience in this evolving field, we understand that PV designs need to consider a variety of environmental concerns, in terms of snow, wind, soil conditions and related factors, as well as shipping and handling limitations.

McLaren is proud to be part of the green energy movement, and we are poised to continue providing designs that effectively support these projects.