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Customer Spotlight: Nos Quedamos

March 29, 2022 | Julia Fowler

Recently we spoke with local organization and Pvilion customer, Nos Quedamos. We wanted to share more about the amazing work that they do for the community and why we at Pvilion support their endeavors.

Nos Quedamos, or “We Stay,” is a Community Development Corporation (CDC) that was formed in 1993 by Yolanda García as an effort to combat planned shrinkage and the displacement of local residents in the South Bronx. With the help of the committee and urban planner/architect Petr Stand, Yolanda oversaw the creation of 18 affordable housing buildings in the South Bronx, known as Melrose Commons.

The most recent building added to Melrose Commons, the nineteenth building created by Nos Quedamos, is cited as being the first project to have 100% of units considered to be affordable, with senior units distributed throughout the building rather than grouped together in a designated area.

Nos Quedamos is also known for being an early adopter and implementer of green practices in its buildings. Founder Yolanda García wanted the flooring of these buildings to be made from bamboo, as it was a more sustainable and allergy friendly option.

Despite being more expensive and a challenge to implement in the Melrose Commons buildings, she advocated for funding and made it possible. This practice was continued in the newest building as well, to uphold that standard.

Lately, under the current CEO Jessica Clemente, Nos Quedamos has been working on the Melrose Resiliency Plan, or Melrose 2.0. These efforts involve enhancing the beautiful, green community gardens that were formerly abandoned lots, and creating spaces that can be both enjoyed by members of the community and utilized during times of emergency.

These efforts began before the pandemic struck and came in handy during recent times of crisis. While the beautiful gardens provide residents with a place to connect with fellow members of their community, these spaces also provide shelter, wifi, clean water, and solar power in times of emergency.

“The community has gone through a lot of obstacles and challenges. It’s a community that by its very nature has been a resilient community. It has always bounced back; from the South Bronx burning in the 70s, to natural disasters over the years, to COVID-19 through the last two years. The community always comes out the other side smiling and hopeful. And that’s where Nos Quedamos gets its inspiration.”

– Edwin Pagán, Director of Communications

Pvilion’s solar canopies will be installed in 3 different locations and will help Nos Quedamos enhance their services. In addition to offering a backup supply of power in times of emergency, these solar canopies can also be used to power lights and heaters that will allow residents to come enjoy the parks at night after they get off work, provide outlets for chargers and equipment for community events, host class for nearby schools, so they may utilize the gardens for educational purposes, and support last minute events like emergency food distribution.

Rendering of Pvilion’s canopies to be featured in 3 of Nos Quedamos’s parks.
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The Carol Roberts Field House Canopy at Yale University

The Carol Roberts Field House, design by KG&D Architects, is the locker room, training room, coach’s office, meeting space and observation deck for the women’s field hockey and softball teams. Pvilion provided design assist services to KG&D Architects for the Canopy and was the Contractor for the fabrication and installation of the Canopy.

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Solar Sails at Skyland Park, Atlanta

Using its proprietary lamination process, coupled with 40+ years as leaders in tensile structure design, Pvilion has developed permanent solar powered canopy products that are scalable for your shade and power needs.

These innovative lightweight structures not only provide shade and solar energy, but LED lighting and mobile charging using built-in USB ports. Either grid-tied or off-grid, Pvilion’s canopies are customizable with scalable battery back-up systems depending on your installation needs. 

Whether your project is one-of-a-kind or boasts multiple structures, Pvilion’s solar canopies can be engineered for a single, two or four pole configuration. Pvilion’s code-compliant solar fabric structures are the perfect sustainable solution with a story to tell.

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Pvilion Solar Structures Use By Schools

Faced with the challenges of opening and operating within the social distance guidelines, many school districts and college campuses need to expand quickly using temporary structures and many are looking to companies like Pvilion to meet their needs. Pvilion provides solar canopy structures that are light weight, flexible, and easy to install, yet durable and energy efficient.  The Pvilion design supports unique space requirements and customizations.  Pvilion’s technology has become a cost effective, quick and reliable structure solution. Its solar canopies can be erected and electrically operational within a minimal amount of time.

Pvilion solar canopies provide structures within which students can gather and be instructed, protected from the elements while maintaining safe social distances.  Pvilion’s canopies use solar fabric to generate environmentally safe power from the sun.  Power that can be used for lighting, air conditioning, heating and to power mobile devices such as laptop computers and cellular phones.

With recent technological advances, solar power has become more economical. Its proven advantage over fossil fuels is that there is no environmental harm in using it.  As a result, schools are finding installing Pvilian’s solar power canopy structures that can meet both short- and long-term needs while cutting costs associated with erecting temporary structures.

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Pvilion Solar Canopies at The New York Botanical Garden

Aesthetic appeal is important in a botanic garden, which is why the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) chose The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) as the launch site for Pvilion’s Solar Powered Canopy structures. Pvilion, a Brooklyn based solar-powered fabric products company, has installed solar canopies which are not only functional and environmentally friendly, but pleasant to look at when one is standing on the grounds of the Botanical Garden.

 “As the city’s botanical gardens reopen and welcome back visitors to enjoy the peace and tranquility of their living collections, we’re thrilled to support this collaboration between the New York Botanical Garden, Pvilion, and DCAS,” said Gonzalo Casals, NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner.

Intended to provide NYBG visitors a place where they can seek shade, enjoy a beverage and recharge their mobile devices, the eight (8) solar canopies, designed, engineered, and installed by Pvilion, provide ample space to relax while staying socially distanced.

Pvilion engineered a fabric that incorporates photovoltaic cells, which generate electricity with sun exposure. As part of New York City’s emission reduction efforts, seven (7) of the canopies contribute energy directly to the city’s power grid. One (1) structure powers a bank of batteries used by NYBG and by Garden visitors to charge their mobile phones, and other devices.

The solar canopies are a pilot project operated by Pvilion under the Innovative Demonstrations for Energy Adaptability (IDEA) Program, an initiative of the City of New York’s DCAS’ Division of Energy Management. The program encourages businesses, innovators, and entrepreneurs to create transformative opportunities and to foster a culture of innovation.

NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Casals added that “DCAS’s IDEA program that funded the installation of these innovative, solar powered pavilions on NYBG’s extraordinary grounds is just one way the City partners with cultural organizations to lead the way in fostering sustainable design – something that’s more urgently needed than ever.” 

The goal is to find solutions to the challenges facing manufacturers and businesses through partnerships with private sector business entities, with emphasis placed on technology to help the City reduce carbon emissions.

“The climate crisis is real and it’s urgent, and that is why the City of New York is taking action to reduce carbon emissions and build a more sustainable future,” said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “It’s only fitting that The New York Botanical Garden, a place known for its greenery, will be leading the way with green energy technologies.”

Pvilion’s design stands out for its flexible durability, minimal weight, energy efficiency and ease of installation. With the recent need to shift activity outside, Pvilion’s technology has become a necessary, quick, and reliable solution for shelter and energy. The NYBG structures were erected by a handful of workers and operational within a minimal amount of time. Pvilion’s products are not only visually pleasing, but they are helping the world we live in today to achieve a better tomorrow.

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Solar Shade Canopy at Yankee Pier on Governor’s Island

Pvilion built and installed the solar canopies at Yankee Pier to provide shade for passengers waiting for the ferry to Brooklyn, and to power the lighting that turns the canopies into a Governors Island icon at night – visible from Brooklyn, and for a mile up and down the East River. These economical, multi-year solar frame tents were constructed for a budget comparable to that of renting commercial tents for one season.

The colorful fabric solar panels are attached to the canopy fabric and frame in a playful “zig-zag” pattern. Pedestal platforms high up on the metal frame support the battery boxes that store the solar electricity that powers the LED RGB lighting bars suspended from the top of the frame.