Smuttynose Owner has 'Green' dreams

Egelston Hopes for LEED Certification

By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Tuesday, January 13, 2009

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON -- Smutty-nose Brewery owner Peter Egelston is dreaming "green" when it comes to the construction of his new brewery and restaurant on Towle Farm Road.

"Our goal in building a new facility is to build one that is sustainable, efficient and also beautiful," said Egelston. "Those three things we want working in harmony and reflect our values that we want to possess as a company."

Egelston was the special guest speaker at this month's "energy conversation" hosted by the town's Energy Committee:
He spoke about his dreams to construct a "energy efficient" building that will hopefully receive gold certification from the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) when its completed.

Some of the ideas being instituted in the new building, Egelston said, come from the lack of efficiencies he has witnessed in their current 25,000-square-foot building on Heritage Avenue in Portsmouth.

"The building was constructed in the '70s and it leaks like a sieve from an energy standpoint," Egelston said. "It was never made to be a brewery, it became one by default."

An example of one deficiency in the Portsmouth building is a 50-ton chiller that sits in the parking lot. It is used to refrigerate the fermentation tanks as well as other portions of the facility. The chiller, Egelston said, produces a lot of heat that is just released into the atmosphere.

"Its not very efficient because at the same time we are heating the building with a heater," Egelston said.

He plans to take advantage of that heat and put it to use at the Hampton plant and restaurant.

"Our focus on design is creating a very efficient building envelope with lots of great insulation and finding every opportunity we can to avoid the escape of energy," Egelston said.

The new 42,000-square-foot building will also be constructed to take advantage of sunlight.

The roof of the warehouse will contain solar tubes, which will allow the sun to light the inside.

"The real opportunities for energy efficiency are really not that glamorous," Egelston said. "It boils down to insulation, florescent light bulbs and low tech solutions like orientating the buildings according to how the sun tracks."

Egelston said builders looked at other alternative energy solutions, such as cogeneration, but they were just not cost effective.

Cogeneration, or "cogen" for short, provides heat and air conditioning, but also generates electricity at the same time.

"I thought our brewery was going to be a perfect opportunity for that, but the numbers just didn't work out," Egelston said. "There was really no economic incentive for us to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in cogen for this facility because we would be generating more heat than we could have used."

However, he did say the company is leaving the door open for the possibility of one day adding solar or wind turbines.

"We are designing our building in such a way that down the road we can install them if we want to," Egelston said.

Other "green" aspects of the plan involve 100-foot setbacks from the wetlands rather than 50-foot setbacks required by state law.

The company is also leaving much of the greenery at the 14-acre parcel at 105 Towle Farm Road untouched. The orchard and woods on the property will be mostly left alone with construction taking place around many of the old trees.

Egelston said he intends to turn the old barn on the property into a restaurant and move the house that sits on the property to another location on the site.

Egelston said he hopes construction on his "green" building will begin in the spring of 2009, but, depending on the economy, he said he may have to wait a little bit longer.

"Our goal is that once we finally do put a shovel in the ground, it will probably take a year to build," Egelston said. "If everything works out, we will be pouring our first beer in 2010."