The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National SeaBase is a recently constructed training facility that hosts over 5000 scouts annually. In their design, BSA project engineers sought an approach which would support low monthly operating expense but also would protect the environmental integrity of the Florida Keys’ fragile ecosystem.
As the Keys are an area susceptible to both strict environmental laws as well as storm-based power outages, the architects designed the seven-unit facility to incorporate a renewable energy source.
Solar water heating (SWH) was chosen primarily for its reliability and operating cost efficiencies. The SWH panels passed final testing by remaining in place and intact during Hurricane Hugo’s sustained winds of 180 mph and gusts in excess of 230 mph.