Anne Springs Close Greenway Goes Solar

The Anne Springs Close Greenway provides recreational, educational and community activities and facilities in the Fort Mill area. The Greenway is a 2,100 acre nature preserve which offers hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, and more to its visitors. Nestled as a natural oasis amidst the Fort Mill and greater Charlotte area bustle and growth, the Greenway sees over 275,000 unique visitors annually. The mission of the Greenway is to “connect people to nature through recreational and educational activities while fostering a passion for environmental conservation, animal habitat, and protection of natural resources.”

The Anne Springs Close Greenway demonstrates their commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability in several ways.

In 2019, the Greenway constructed a new welcome center called the Gateway. The Greenway Gateway employs a variety of passive and active sustainable systems that aim to drastically reduce energy consumption, improve thermal comfort, conserve water, and improve indoor air quality. The Gateway’s sustainability initiatives serve to engage, educate, and inspire future generations while driving leadership in environmental conservation and stewardships.

Water Conservation & Rainwater Harvesting 

  • Rainchain downspouts connect to a 200 gallon rainwater collection system for drip irrigation.
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures.

Active Solar Energy Harvesting

  • Roof-mounted photovoltaic panels are designed to reduce energy costs by at least 50% and, at times, fully meet the building’s electrical demand.

High Efficiency HVAC Systems

  • Radiant heat slab in lobby.
  • Reduces energy consumption.
  • Heats space evenly.
  • Mitigates temperature swings for improved thermal comfort.
  • High Efficiency heat pump heating/cooling system for support spaces.

Improved Indoor Air Quality 

  • Structure uses zero VOC materials, eliminating material off-gassing.
  • Brings in 100% outside air, boosting building air quality.

Natural Daylighting

  • North-facing clerestory windows for indirect daylight.
  • Interior light shelf for greater indirect light distribution .
  • Front porch shading blocks direct sunlight.
  • Use of daylighting sensors.
  • Indirect (diffuse) light creates a “light-filled space”.
  • Reduce solar heat gain and glare.
  • Reduces energy consumption by turning off lighting when natural light will suffice.

Besides the Gateway itself, the Greenway offers extensive programming in order to engage the local Charlotte and Fort Mill communities and draw the public into active participation in nature. Some of the Greenway’s programming includes: weekly yoga classes, horseback trail rides, couch-to-5k running group, trail running group, photography 101, birding club, environmental speaker series, Catawba master naturalist class, community preschool programs, brunch at the Gateway, kids night out, Girl Scouts on the Greenway, Earth Day Celebration, community gardens, and more. The common thread that unites these programs is environmental conservation through public education and enjoyment of nature.

Finally, the Greenway seeks to include those less fortunate through recreation and education scholarships. These scholarships are funded through public donations; they allow children and families that lack financial resources to participate in programming at the Greenway. In 2019, the Greenway provided financial assistance to 290 local families.

About Renu Energy Solutions

Renu Energy Solutions is a leading full-service solar installer. Local to Charlotte, the company serves North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, and has installed solar for thousands of energy customers since 2010.

 

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