Bell Electric of Blacksburg
Commercial, Industrial and Residential Electrical Construction       
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Treading lightly on the earth

We started by combining our values and needs with the expertise and vision of 
architects Sid Cohn, Hans Rott and Orrin Arvold. Our intention was to reshape 
the natural topography as little as possible. This resulted in a bridge for access 
to the upper floor.
The planks for the bridge are Southern Pine piers that had 
supported a wharf in the Savannah harbor since the 1600s and were remilled by
Blue Ridge Timberwrights. We tell visitors that things need not be thrown
away just because they are old.




On the double-sloped roof are 67 Siemens SP75 solar modules
installed by Bryan Walsh of
Solar Connexion
Each panel generates 75 peak watts. The panels feed 
their power into an inverter. 
Click here to learn about the inverter.

The greenhouse on the roof provides passive solar gain and a warm place to visit on a sunny winter day. The greenhouse roof and walls are double-walled acrylic.


The roof is a rubberized membrane with two 2-1/2" thick sheets of structural foam board. The foam board lies on 3/4"plywood sheets supported by TGIs.

The building features extensive use of Low E glass. 
A north-facing clerestory window runs from east to 
west along the midline of the building.

Jan's desk area has lots of 
natural light and a glass airlock (left)
 to temper the outside air. 
The light fixtures have electronic 
ballasts  with T8 lamps.

The main building exterior walls are
filled with highly insulating
Core-fill foam-filled block.
Tex planted wildflowers outside the office. 

They come back every Spring!!

We heat and cool with dual-fuel heat pumps 
controlled by programmable thermostats.

Our building is right across the street
from a bus stop and a residential area, 
to lessen the need for a car.

We installed metal halide bollards instead of pole lights in the parking lot, to help keep the night sky dark. They are also easier to maintain.

Recycled elements: 

Warehouse shelving; bridge planks