General news

Solar Innovations, Inc. Develops Cold Frames That Foster Cold-weather Plant Production

Solar Innovations, Inc., a custom manufacturer of residential and commercial greenhouses; garden windows; conservatories; folding, sliding, and stacking walls, doors, windows, and screens; sunrooms; and skylights has designed and tested a cold frame system that can continue to produce plants, with little operational costs, even when outside temperatures drop below the acceptable growing range.

Pine Grove, PA, February 3, 2014 - Solar Innovations, Inc., a custom manufacturer of residential and commercial greenhouses; garden windows; conservatories; folding, sliding, and stacking walls, doors, windows, and screens; sunrooms; and skylights has designed and tested a cold frame system that can continue to produce plants, with little operational costs, even when outside temperatures drop below the acceptable growing range.

Solar Innovations, Inc. has four cold frames installed and operational at their manufacturing facility in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. These research and display units are maintained by Solar's greenhouse experts. Two of the cold frames automatically vent through passive methods, meaning no electricity is used to operate the vents.

In the fall of 2013, the experimental cold frames were planted with hardy, cold weather crops such as lettuce, radishes, beets, pansies, and sage. The plants thrived during the fall and winter months despite below average temperatures and several snowfalls. Lettuce and radishes were harvested from late fall through the end of December. The cold frames protected the plants, allowed the gardener to extend the growing season, and proved to be an economical and practical accessory. Pennsylvania suffered an extreme cold spell in January, with the air temperature dropping below zero. Lettuce, sage, pansies, and radishes survived these harsh conditions in the cold frames.

A cold frame utilizes the principles of passive solar design. The container's glazing collects solar energy, which fulfills the plants' requirements for photosynthesis and heat. Glass and polycarbonate are acceptable glazing options, depending upon functional and performance requirements. Throughout the day the cold frame's lid is used to vent excess heat and provide gardeners access to the plants.

Traditionally, resourceful growers have constructed cold frames from scrap materials and used them on farms or in gardens. Solar Innovations, Inc.'s cold frames improve upon this traditional design by utilizing thermally-broken aluminum framing, which insulates the interior of the structure and helps to store the solar heat collected during the day for use at night.

The solid metal back wall of a cold frame by Solar Innovations, Inc. can be dark in color to help convert short-wavelength sunlight into long-wavelength heat energy for the plants. This conversion is the basis of the greenhouse effect. The soil, whether in pots or filling the cold frame, serves as thermal mass, absorbing and storing the heat energy for later use.

Gardeners looking for a cost-efficient way to grow year round and to extend the season, even during the most inhospitable weather, can rely on the performance and benefits of Solar Innovations, Inc.'s cold frames.

Solar's greenhouse experts can design custom cold frames based on the end user's location and desired plantings. Sizes, colors, and glazing selection can be tailored to fit the gardener's specific needs, allowing for a choice of manual or automatic ventilation. For more information on Solar Innovations, Inc.'s cold frames or to receive an updated greenhouse brochure, please contact a Solar Innovations, Inc. greenhouse expert at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 800-618-0669.

Quandel Construction Group Selected For New Eco-Village

Quandel Construction Group, Inc., a local construction firm, was selected to complete Camp JRF's new Eco-Village on their beautiful Aaron and Marjorie Ziegelman Campus, located in South Sterling, Pennsylvania. The Eco-Village is planned as a living laboratory for sustainable building and environmental consciousness and will increase Camp JRF's enrollment by 30 percent.

The new village reflects the need for social spaces to encourage the dialogue required to become responsible people and uses sustainable building strategies and materials to foster respect for the earth. The village will be composed of yurt cabins, round tent structures originating from nomadic tribes of Central Asia, appropriate to this project because of their round non-hierarchical and socially inclusive shape. They will be grouped in threes in the dense woods adjacent to a meadow, on wooden platforms around wide steps that lead to a communal fire pit. Colorful awnings will span between tents to provide relief from the sun and to unite the round yurt shapes.

The project also includes a boys and girls bathhouse which serves as a daily bathing spot as well as a place for campers to gather and discuss the events of the day. The bathhouses are comprised of sheltering roofs with deep overhangs and wood screen walls that offer views out and ample air circulation.

The project features many sustainable design components including locally harvested, naturally rot-resistant Black Locust lumber, stained glass-like walls of beer bottles recycled from local taverns and embedded in "cob" walls, dual flush toilets and waterless urinals, high ash content concrete foundations and stone walls made of stone found on the site.

Construction on the $2.5 million project began this fall at the 120-acre wooded, lakeside camp that annually welcomes nearly 400 campers ranging in age from 8 to 17 from
across North America, Israel and around the world.

TimBar Holds Ribbon Cutting

TimBar Packaging & Display's New Oxford Division held a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 3 to commemorate the start up of its new Bobst Martin Flexo Folder Gluer. The machine has excellent register thanks to the non-stop vacuum transfer up to the die-cutting section. It also features the fastest top counter ejector on the market allowing for reduced set up times.
"In addition to adding much needed capacity, this easy to run machine is rated for high speed throughput", stated Jim Simpson, Vice President & General Manager for the facility. He added, "it will enable us to increase productivity and remain competitive in this aggressive market".

TimBar Packaging & Display has been a leading manufacturer of corrugated packaging for more than 55 years. TimBar
offers a large array of products and services including shipping containers, retail packaging, point of purchase displays, protective inserts and other specialty products as well as design, packout and fulfillment services.  For more information visit  or call 717-624-2122


Solar Innovations Receives Honor From Inc. Magazine

Inc. Magazine ranked Solar Innovations, Inc. No. 3974 on its seventh annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America's independent entrepreneurs. Fuhu tops this year's list. Solar Innovations, Inc. joins LivingSocial, Edible Arrangements, CDW, and Lifelock, among other prominent brands featured on this year's list.

"We are honored to have been named to such a prestigious list featuring quality companies. We owe great thanks to our customers, our vendors, and to our team for helping Solar grow. Through continued product development and top-notch customer service, we hope to become one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania" - Greg Header, President, Solar Innovations, Inc.

Solar Innovations, Inc. is a single source manufacturer of residential and commercial folding, tilting, sliding, and stacking glass doors, walls, windows, and screens; skylights; greenhouses; conservatories; sunrooms; wood and aluminum curtain walls; and more.

In a stagnant economic environment, median growth rate of 2013 Inc. 500|5000 companies is an impressive 142 percent. The companies on this year's list report having created over 520,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $241 billion.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at

"Not all the companies in the Inc. 500 | 5000 are in glamorous industries, but in their fields they are as famous as household name companies simply by virtue of being great at what they do. They are the hidden champions of job growth and innovation, the real muscle of the American economy," says Inc . Editor Eric Schurenberg.

Quandel rebrands, launches new website

Quandel Enterprises, a 131-year-old construction and engineering firm, has rebranded to create a single, strong brand for its parent company and eight subsidiaries across the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The Harrisburg-based firm also launched a new website that reflects the new brand.

Founded in Minersville, Pennsylvania in 1882 by Emil Quandel, the company is now in its fourth generation of family leadership. According to CEO Noble C. "Bud" Quandel, "We've enjoyed tremendous growth over the past few decades, adding companies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois and Minnesota. It's time to make it clear that we're all one company with one mission and a commitment to do what's right."

Quandel companies include Quandel Construction Group, Quandel Engineering, QEI Construction Group and QBN Development Group, based in Minersville, Harrisburg, Scranton and Williamsport; Pyramid Construction Services in Wormleysburg; J. Vinton Schafer & Sons in Abingdon, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia; and Quandel Consultants in Chicago and St. Paul, MN.

Quandel's new website – – provides a contemporary look and improved user experience. Visitors can learn about Quandel and its companies, view project profiles, see bid opportunities and apply for jobs.

Quandel Enterprises provides construction, construction management, engineering, development and consulting services through eight subsidiaries in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Quandel is consistently ranked on the ENR Top 400 U.S. Contractors list and Top 100 Construction Management Firms.