Folkmanis® Growing Green
The Folkmanis, Inc World Headquarters circa 1917.
If you phoned our office between September 2007 and July 2008 you may have heard drilling, pounding and sawing in the background. Mom and Poppa Folkmanis decided to upgrade the Folkmanis headquarters building to today’s earthquake standards and at the same time reduce our carbon footprint by going solar! Over time, the solar upgrade will pay for itself. It makes good business sense and good sense for the earth.
Our historic brick Folkmanis headquarters building was originally built in 1917 as an industrial bakery called “People’s Baking Co.” with large chimneys. After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake shook the bay area, the chimneys were removed and the building was retrofitted to the current safety codes.
A few years later, after the Northridge 1994 earthquake hit LA, engineers in California learned a lot more about structural integrity. The codes were revised. We were due for another retrofit to keep up with the most current standards. The dust has settled. The structure of the building has been reinforced to a much higher standard with beams bolted and tied together and shear walls added. We have also installed solar tubes to bring natural light into the office spaces. 135 solar panels have been installed on our roof and the meter is running backwards as the sun generates more than enough energy to run the business. The excess solar power goes back into the community. We have also installed low flush toilets to help cut down our water usage during this difficult drought year for California.
We can now say that our building is state of the art for earthquake retrofit. We are proud to be providing solar energy to help the environment and hope that other businesses will be inspired to take the green leap with us!