Take one Canadian art landmark, add a steep steel roof, 60 feet in the air on a sloped site, and a 15kW – 3 Phase solar electric array and what do you get? The McMichael Canadian Art Collection project.

The McMichael Collection houses Canada’s largest collection of Canadian Art; most notably the best collection of Group of Seven work in the world. With gallery space directly under the PV array, any roof leak could potentially ruin priceless works of art. To fasten the required racking without making a single roof penetration, we used a combination of a standing seam metal roof and seam clamps made by S-5!.

The second challenge was the height and steepness of the roof combined with the sloped site. Since an aerial lift or crane could not work on this sloped site, we used custom scaffold to give us a staging area for equipment and tools as well as an added measure of safety for those down below.

Our last big challenge on this job was dealing with the irregularly shaped roof surface. The wall construction is log with stone piers in between and, over time, the logs settled but the stones did not. This left a terrible hump in the roof above the stone pier which the lines of the solar array would only further accentuate. It was a long and systematic process but we used a special racking system to ‘mellow’ the hump and produce a functioning array while preserving the building’s aesthetic appeal.