Glass Goes Green with New Facility
May 11, 2009
Los Angeles-based Giroux Glass is hosting a grand opening celebration
on Saturday, May 16, for the opening of its new fabrication facility
in San Bernardino, Calif.
With the current growth of the company it had become apparent that
the current Los Angeles fabrication facility was limited both in
size and equipment. As a result, about six months ago the company
located a 40,000-square-foot warehouse in San Bernardino to use
as the new fabrication center for the company's custom and unitized
curtainwall and storefront projects coming out of the Los Angeles
headquarters, approximately 60 miles away, as well as assisting
in fabrication for some projects based out of the Las Vegas office.
to a great deal of new fabrication equipment, the company is sporting
some additional new technology in the way of solar power. The building
has been retrofitted to allow the fabrication equipment to run off
of solar energy.
"I was signing some checks here for our utilities here at
our facility in Los Angeles and was surprised at how high those
bills have been," recalls Giroux vice president Robert Burkhammer.
"I knew out in San Bernardino, with our new machines, the price
of energy was going to go up so I talked about it [with colleagues]
and said why don't we look at using solar cells?"
Burkhammer already says, "It was a good move."
Solar Integrated Technologies in Los Angeles provided the facility
with a building integrated photovoltaic (PV) roofing product. Burkhammer
describes the product by saying, "They basically use adhesive
and it almost looks like linoleum. It's in squares and it's real
pliable and they glue it down to the roof. It's not the panels that
are in the vertical position, maybe with a 30-degree pitch-we do
not have that," he says. This BIPV system is a little more
subtle, in that it blends in with the roof.
With this addition, Burkhammer proudly notes, "We're the very
first commercial building to have solar power in San Bernardino
In addition to the PV system, the company is going green in a number
ofother ways, including a recycling program.
"We called Athens Waste Management and asked them if they
have any programs for cardboard, because we go through a lot of
cardboard; a lot of our material comes in wrapped in cardboard,"
Burkhammer says. "We have in the past just tossed it in the
Not anymore, as the company is recycling all of its cardboard waste,
as well as aluminum materials.
The company also has invested in three SmartCars over the past
few months to assist in conserving fuel use, and at 40 miles per
gallon, the company is doing just that. Two of the fuel-efficient
vehicles are at the Los Angeles headquarters, with one being put
to use at the San Bernardino branch.
In addition, through the facility's location within an enterprise
zone and with the assistance of local union #636, incentives are
offered to employees that choose to carpool or bike to work.
"We're going to be putting bicycle racks in and giving [monetary]
incentives to our employees if they ride bikes to work or carpool,"
Burkhammer adds that a number of the new employees live close to
"We're starting with 15 [employees]," explains service
assistant Lori Beard, adding, "and we assume it's really going
to start growing from there once we get everything in place."
This will be the first facility purchased under the ESOP program,
making all the members partners in this endeavor.
The company is hosting a barbecue and ribbon cutting celebration
Saturday to celebrate its latest expansion. Giroux is expecting
to host Mayor Patrick Morris and members of the San Bernardino City
Council, as well as employees and owner Anne-Merelie Murrell.
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