Balanced Body Gives its Workspace a Healthy Workout
For almost 40 years, Balanced Body has been improving fitness products and teaching people to use them. The company is now turning inward, improving its office with solar energy and promoting a healthy workspace.
Healthy Company Trims Energy Use
Balanced Body, a supplier of the Pilates fitness equipment, opened a state-of- the-art facility to bring its entire staff, including manufacturing and sales, under one roof. The idea was to transform how the workplace looks, feels and per- forms—much like the way its products work on the body.
Before the move, Balanced Body had little control over its energy supply. The Sacramento, California-based company was operating out of a converted military base where the landlord managed the electricity bill for all tenants. “We couldn’t have done solar if we wanted to,” says founder and CEO Ken Endelman.
The office construction project gave Endelman a chance to look at the whole plant design. He decided to cover the roof of the 125,000 square foot building with a thousand solar panels while leaving space for skylights and room in the budget for efficient insulation and ventilation systems. “For geeks like me, this is really fun stuff,” he says.
Technology and Experience Win The Day
When it came time to select a solar installer, Endelman again left no stone unturned. He got a list of approved contractors through- out California and set up a competitive bidding process.
Endelman wanted an installation company that had a track record with large commercial projects and a solar technology that’s reli- able and efficient. Based on these criteria, Balanced Body hired Forest Ranch, Calif.-based North State Solar Energy to install a 250-kilowatt Enphase System.
Among the finalists bidding on the job, North State Solar was the only one proposing using microinverters, which Endelman saw as key to getting the highest production in the long run. He liked that if one microinverter goes down, it won’t take down the whole array. “That makes sense to me,” he says. “Making a 20- or 25-year investment, you have to look at the long-term, not just the upfront cost.”
Measuring Results Improves Outcomes
North State Solar president Mike Houar seeks out opportunities to test solar products in real-world projects. He saw Balanced Body as an ideal site for comparing solar panels with monocrystalline solar cells to those with multicrystalline cells. With Enphase Enlighten, North State Solar can see results with side-by-side performance data for each solar panel. “Ken is an innovator committed to renew- able energy in practice and principle. He readily agreed to the idea,” Houar says.
While North State can see detailed results to determine whether the cell’s structure in a module impacts production significantly, Balanced Body can share its total production on its website, www.pilates.com, showing customers the company’s commitment to going green.