Iron Workers International Union Launch SolarWall Training Program

Conserval's SolarWall solar air heating system
One of Conserval’s SolarWall solar air heating systems.

Members of the International Iron Workers Union will now be able to benefit from a SolarWall installer training program. The launch of a certified solar air heating training program for commercial and industrial applications is the first-of-its-kind and is generating significant political and industry interest.

The SolarWall technology has always been synonymous with solar air heating and the widespread endorsement of the technology from government agencies and past clients is spurring significant uptake. This represented an opportunity for the Iron Workers Union to establish their members as essential contributors to the solar air heating sector in the United States and Canada, while at the same time providing SolarWall clients with the highest quality installation. The certification program will also create a trained labor-force across the country to help with more widespread deployment of the SolarWall technology.

SolarWall systems are building integrated and therefore require a skilled installer to ensure proper integration into the building envelope. SolarWall was developed by Conserval Engineering, who partnered with the International Ironworker’s Union and Pennsylvania contractor G.M. McCrossin to develop the curriculum.

“SolarWall systems are part of the exciting and emerging green economy and it is a great thing that Iron Workers are an integral part of the workforce making the world a better place to live for future generations” said General President Joseph Hunt. “Adding this new technology to existing buildings and erecting it on new construction projects will not only help put Americans back to work but it can also help this country in the battle to achieve energy independence and reduce the greenhouse gases produced by using conventional means to heat buildings. The Iron Workers have the training in place across North America and we are positioned as the workforce which is trained to properly install this new technology.”

The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, AFL-CIO, is a proud trade union whose roots go back to the 1890’s. Their current membership is well over 100,000, with about 12,000 apprentices. Ironworkers have worked on major construction projects: The Golden Gate Bridge, The Sears Tower, The St. Louis Arch, The Oil Sands Plant Expansion in Alberta, The World Trade Center, and the World Trade Center recovery effort, to name a few.

The Ironworkers are committed to quality construction by providing a productive, skilled, and drug-free workforce, maintaining strong labor-management relations, following fair and ethical business practices, and finding new and innovative ways to help their contractors to successfully compete in the construction business.

The SolarWall technology was developed by Conserval Engineering, who commercialized solar air heating around the world. SolarWall systems offer large-scale energy reductions by heating the ventilation air required in commercial, industrial, and institutional applications. They can also be combined with photovoltaic panels to create a hybrid system generating both heat and electricity. The SolarWall technology has received commendation from both the U.S. Department of Energy and Natural Resources Canada, and has been used in more than 30 countries around the world by private and public sector organizations like the U.S. Army, Canadian Government, NASA, Ford, FedEx, Auchan, Owens Corning, Wal-Mart, and 3M. Conserval has offices in Buffalo, New York; Toronto, Canada; Paris, France; and a distribution channel in 25 countries.

G.M. McCrossin, Inc. is a full service union contractor, with planning, scheduling, budgeting, permitting, and design-build capabilities. They maintain comprehensive general, mechanical, foundation, and electrical construction divisions. For over fifty years, GMM has been providing a multitude of specialized heavy construction services for a wide variety of commercial, institutional, and governmental clients throughout the mid-Atlantic region. GMM is proud of their formal safety program, outstanding safety record, and the numerous safety awards they have earned.

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