Going solar is rarely talked of in the same breath as building and construction. People build houses and then they add solar to their new house, sometimes even drilling holes in the roofing membrane of their new house in order to add panels.
A relatively new way to look solarizing a home is to in fact combine going solar and construction – use solarized building materials.The materials need to be installed in the same way as conventional materials, and integrate with other materials. Picture a solar roof where the non solarized materials, and the solarized materials mesh seamlessly, are installed at the same time, using the same techniques, and are installed by the same construction team.
This allows for a simple workflow when building a house. The same crews working with materials that fit together. Solarizing building materials is an enabler for the construction industry to add value to their customers.
A quick disclaimer here – no one is suggesting you throw caution to the wind. Solarized building materials generate electricity. They need to be checked and monitored by a licensed electrician.
Here we touch on an idea from a previous post, where we talk about creating panels to suit applications, rather than working around the panel. Solarize existing building materials and build with them. Or look to tailor the solar panel to fit seamlessly with existing materials and use the exact same install technique.
Looking at construction holistically through a fresh lens can lead to breakthroughs. When we find ways to integrate solar building materials into how houses are built, or how any building is built then we can find synergy and efficiency. Same work crews, a project plan that looks like a normal construction process. There are the synergies we are looking for. There is a huge difference between Building Integrated Photovoltaic and Building Material Integrated Photovoltaic.
Watch this video to see the application on a roof: