Solar panels were inspected: owner

Rooftop-mounted solar panels collapsed in wind storm

The owner of a Flemingdon Park apartment building where several solar panels collapsed on its roof in a January wind storm says any work done on the site prior to the incident had been done “according to bylaws.”

“Permits were issued, inspections were done and everything was fine,” Gulu Thadani said in a phone interview on Feb. 7, in which he indicated he feels the public blames him for a situation that was not as hazardous as news coverage made it out to be.

News coverage began when the front of the building was cordoned off as work crews were dismantling the panels on Jan. 31, but the collapse occurred during a Jan. 24 storm in which wind gusts reached more than 100 km/h.

According to Thadani, the panels were built to withstand 80–100 km/h winds.

All of the panels on top of 31 St. Dennis Dr. collapsed on themselves and were hanging over the edge of the building. The panels on top of 35 St. Dennis Dr., which is attached to 31, remained intact.

According to a spokesman for the city’s building department, a permit was issued in July for the building of the panels, and a city building inspector and engineer approved the design after concluding it met all structural requirements.

Enviroen, the company that built the panels, was unavailable for comment.

“Even though the structures dropped, they were still secured with the anchors to the building,” Thadani said.

The two blocks of solar panels that did not collapse are still structurally sound, he maintains, and will remain on the roof.

Thadani said there are plans in progress to redesign the solar panels and, depending on how long it takes to get the proper permits, they could be in place as early as spring.

About this article:

By: Shawn Star
Posted: Feb 24 2014 1:16 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto