In order to reduce the amount of noise both inside and outside the shop, we designed it to have the machines underground! From the outside, it appears that the building simply has a ground-level shop, but that's where you'd be wrong.
The truth is the machines are actually located below ground level in the shop, which is a mirrored plan of the upstairs shop area. By doing this, we've kept noise to a minimum and created a multiuse space upstairs for assembly, packaging, storage, welding, and whatever other tasks come up.
When we decided to start our own shop, we didn't want to follow the typical path forward of massive power consumption, poor insulation, loud spaces, and leaky garage doors letting all the heat out. Instead, we pushed to create a building that was efficient, quiet, and inconspicuous.
Power usage is obviously a huge downside of any machine shop and there's not really a way around it. So, in an effort to reduce our footprint with this build, we've installed 24 solar panels on the shop's roof, generating up to 8 kW of power.
This isn't quite enough to fully offset the shop's power use, especially during the dark winter months, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
In the two years since its installation, the array has generated over 34 MWh of electricity!
The Complete Package
On top of these efforts, the typical operation of the machine shop is as sustainable as possible by recycling as much of our chips, solids, and used coolant to the maximum extent of the recycling system we have. Additionally, we do our best to re-purpose, reuse, or re-home anything we feel is no longer of use or destined for the scrap yard.
When you put all of these things together and add a nice exterior finish and some insulated roll-up garage doors, you're left with a beautiful package that no one would know has a full-fledged machine shop hidden within. And that is just the way we like it!