Amid University District transformations, Evolved Body Art is making changes of its own. The location on the corner of East Hudson Street and Summit Street will be partially solar-powered by early November.
At least 90 solar panels will be installed on the building’s rooftop, which will be similar to those being used on the roof of the RPAC, said Johnathan Gioffre, an Ohio State alumnus and owner of Go Modern Energy, the company that will be installing the panels.
“It’s the same type of solar panel that you see on old calculators [that] ran off of light,” he said. “We’re installing about 90 of them, and they’re going to generate electricity for the building below for his studio.”
Gioffre added that due to a lack of roof space and a production limit set by American Electric Power, who controls the building’s net utility, Evolved will only be partially solar-powered.
Nick Wolak, owner of Evolved Body Art, said the move toward solar energy comes from an effort to make older buildings more accessible and prevent them from being replaced.
“We’re trying to make it so that all the buildings around us aren’t just new, luxury condos,” Wolak said. “We’re hoping to preserve as many of the older buildings as we can and part of the idea behind that preservation is also updating them.”
The installation process will take between three and five weeks, and Wolak expects the project to begin in October.
Wolak also purchased the former Hudson Street theater property at 368 E. Hudson St. in May, and he said a similar update is in the works for the renovated location.
“As long as that project goes well, the next step will be to create some sort of green roof in conjunction with the solar panels on the Hudson Street theater,” he said. “That probably won’t happen till next year, but we’re in the conceptualization stage.”
With solar-panel installation becoming more feasible and resources readily available in Columbus, Wolak said it was a perfect opportunity to bring the project to the University District.
“There’s solar panels all over the world, there are communities that are entirely off the grid and there’s small villages in Africa that use solar panels,” he said. “I think Columbus has enough resources [and] people with open minds that we can incorporate solar panels just as well as everywhere else.”