Month: June 2012

Panel Built Solar a Success

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by Conrad Walker

June 15th marked the unveiling of Panel Built’s most recent addition to their product line, with an event that did not disappoint. 

Guests began arriving nearly an hour early to be a part of the event. Songs about sunshine played in the background as employees and guests mixed and mingled before the presentation began. The cars kept rolling in, and at about a quarter past eleven Mike Kiernan took the stage to begin the event.

Mr. Kiernan, President of Panel Built, Inc. began with a few words on how the solar project came about, what it meant for Panel Built, and the impact solar can have on the country. He then passed the mic to General Manager Dave Arnold who briefly explained what Panel Built actually does, and gave a quick history on how they got there. A joke or two later, the attention was passed back to Mr. Kiernan.

Mike gave thanks to all those involved in the solar project; including Creative Solar USA, Inc., United Community Bank, and Blue Ridge Mountain EMC amongst others. He then presented three solar power education kits to the local schools in the names of those key to this project.

A prayer later, Mike was ready to christen Panel Built’s new solar array in grand fashion. He cocked the bottle back, swung it at the steel column, and “doooing,” the bottle bounced off!  After a good chuckle from the crowd, Mike gave it a second shot and was successful!

The crowd then turned their attention to the gourmet treat Panel Built’s own Install Manager Shane Wright had prepared. The pulled pork tacos with jalapeño slaw and homemade pico de gallo were a major hit with guests young and old.

Panel Built gave tours of their two production lines as well as the new solar arrays. Guests commented on the clean facilities and knowledge of the production managers, as well as the organization and coordination of the overall event.

Panel Built considers the event a great success, and truly enjoyed the opportunity to show our friends, family, and community what hard work and American know-how can accomplish. 

Panel Built Goes Solar

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by Conrad Walker

Everyone knows building modular is a much “greener” approach to construction; but Panel Built is redefining the phrase “modular is green.” 

About five months ago, a decision was made to integrate solar power production into the Panel Built facilities as a way to supplement our energy consumption as well as showcase our newest product line. Plans were made, schedules set, and Panel Built is now producing solar power!

This is a great time to invest in solar power. According to Russell Seifert of Creative Solar USA, “[Solar] has shown to be the fastest growing industry over any other in the last 30 years.” He states, “we are seeing a more conscious shift with business owners such as Mike and Pat Kiernan as pioneers to bring solar to the forefront in Georgia.”

The first phase of the project was a major makeover for the Panel Built “store front” which now includes approximately 3,500 square feet of solar parking canopy. The structural steel for the solar array was fabricated by our steel line, and the installation was performed by a Panel Built install crew. The canopy also acts as covered parking and is expected to produce approximately 67,000 kwh/year.

Phase two of the solar project includes another solar canopy, this time doubling as a storage area for powder-coated steel waiting to be shipped. Not only will this improve material flow at Panel Built, but the nearly 4,800 square feet of solar panels will produce enough energy in a day, week, or year to power approximately 9 average sized house for that same amount of time.

Project manager Harry Nelson says, “This is something we (Panel Built) are all proud of. Not only is our product green, but now our facilities are as well.”  These solar arrays not only generate power and provide storage, parking and shelter, but they also showcase Panel Built’s newest product line. We now offer a full line of solar arrays from solar farms to roof mounted, parking canopies and storage facilities.

Although much of the engineering, fabricating, and installation was performed by Panel Built employees. There were also key portions performed by various companies including:  Creative Solar, Thorsland Concrete, and several other local subcontractors. Like many ventures, financing was required and United Community Bank partnered with us to make it all possible. Lastly, our local Blue Ridge Mountain EMC and regional electricity provider TVA were critical to the project and great to work with. Panel Built would like to thank all those whose time and effort went into making this venture successful!

For those interested in solar power, there are incredible government incentives right now that allow a significant reduction in total cost of a solar project. Combine this with the savings created by making your own solar energy, and it’s hard not see solar as a win-win.

As the first industrial business to incorporate solar power into our facilities, as well as offer an Electric Vehicle charging station; Panel Built will be hosting a “ribbon cutting” event on June 15th to unveil the new additions. There will be food and drinks, as well as tours of the Panel Built production plants. Everyone is invited to come out and celebrate Panel Built and their move into solar energy! 


The Kilted Golf Classic

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Panel Built Golfers Tee Off

by Conrad Walker

Last Friday marked one of the greatest sports events to ever take place in Georgia. The Kilted Golf Classic at Butternut Creek Golf Course was a part of the Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games, and Panel Built sent their best to represent.

Eighteen holes and 6,500+ yards came between the Panel Built golfers and the coveted Kilted Golf Classic Cup. Tee time was 11:00am and by then, the Panel Built crew was in full swing. The tournament included 13 competitors, all in groups of four, playing a “best ball” style round. For those unfamiliar, “best ball” means all four players tee off, and the next stroke (for every player in the group) is played from the best lie of the four balls. This continues until the final put of each hole.

Beau Ballard, A.J. Shook, Ken Carpenter, and D.J. Rogers represented Panel Built with concentration, effort and enthusiasm reminiscent of a Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, or even Bubba Watson. The group played fair and had no bogies on the round. A spectacular tee shot on the 7th was the highlight of the day. Beau Ballard, in an act of heroics, decided to forgo the easy lay-up shot and went straight over the pond and stuck his ball right on the green.

“It was a really sweet shot,” explained Ken. In fact, there were a number of sweet shots, totaling in 7 birdies for the team.

At the end of the day, the Panel Built group managed a score of 65 and finished 7th, right in the middle of the 14 groups competing. “It was a blast, even if I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn,” said Rogers.

Thanks to all those who made The Kilted Golf Classic a success! Hopefully the Panel Built crew will work on their swings and move us up in the standings next year!

Late Night Heroics

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Panel Built Softball Team Wins Season Opener

by Conrad Walker

Last night was the first official league game for the Panel Built softball team. Excitement ran high as the players warmed up, and the game did not disappoint!

The opponents, Complete Home Services (CHS), jumped out to an early lead and by the bottom of the second inning were up by a score of 9-0. The next few innings saw the Panel Built crew string together a handful of runs, fueled by a five for five batting performance by Panel Built GM Dave Arnold and yet another home run by slugger Nathan Eller. Beau Ballard hit one off the wall in straight-away center, and going into the bottom half of the last inning, Panel Built was down 19-14.

Rob Flowers, who got beamed by a line drive at second base in the top half of the inning, lead off with a pop fly for the first out. CHS then gave up a series of walks and singles, leaving the bases loaded for D.J. Rogers (red arm bands, crouching) with two outs and the score 19-19.

D.J. dug in to the batter’s box and a hush came over the crowd that had gathered to watch the comeback. The first pitch came as D.J. stood watching. “Strike” said the umpire. Panel Built was now down to their last strike.

“As the pitch came in, it looked good,” said Rogers. He swung and “knew it was a good hit soon as it came off the bat. I just wanted to come through for my team.”

D.J.’s hit dropped into left field and the Panel Built crew won in walk-off fashion. The next game will be Thursday, June 7th. Congratulations to D.J. and the rest of the Panel Built team!

Project Picture of the Month – May 2012

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Sold by Lynne Manniotes through Southeastern Industrial Sales in February 2012, this 34′ x 50′ mezzanine with in-plant office provides the perfect office space while allowing room for storage and work to be done underneath.

Some of the features of this build include Resin Deck, modular wiring, and surface mounted lights under the mezzanine.

This project was completely engineered, fabricated, and installed by Panel Built, Inc. From concept to completion, it took approximately three months; with the installation performed in about three weeks.