NEED FOR BIPV

The current focus on increasing the usage of renewable energy supply is now pushing to maximize the Photovoltaics (PV) use on building skins, thus making aesthetical and building integration a key issue for contemporary architecture.

BIPV is a multi-functional technology that can be optimally adapted on both new constructions and existing buildings. Thanks to the on-site exploitation of the PV technology the amount of grey energy needed for the realization of the system building plus PV system is reduced. The use of non-renewable energy sources and / or fossil fuels as well as greenhouse gas emissions is also reduced. This allows the BIPV technology to be one of the sectors of the photovoltaic industry with the highest growth rate. Being both a part of the building envelope and a power generator, BIPV systems permit to reduce the initial investment costs, the material and the necessary labor for the set up in comparison to a traditional construction where PV modules don't replace traditional building elements.

BIPV CONCEPT

The BIPV Concept typical involves two complementary aspects. The first one is the multi-functionality of the solar component that is the functional / constructive integration. On the other side there is also the aesthetic integration, which defines the architectural quality of integration. The building and urban quality of spaces characterized by PV is closely related to a complex combination of functional, constructive, energetic and aesthetical aspects.

Functional Integration Aesthetical Integration
PV Modules are considered to be building integrated, The building's functions in the context of BIPV may be one or more of the following aspects:
- Weather Protection: rain, snow, wind, hail, UV radiation
- Mechanical Rigidity and Structural Integrity
- Thermal and Solar Protection such as shading/daylighting
All the PV characteristics affecting the building’s appearance should be coherent with the overall building’s design. For instance:
- the position and dimension of the modules have to be coherent with the architectural composition of the whole building
- the PV’s visible material, surface texture and colour should be compatible with the other building skin materials, colours and textures that they are interacting with.
- jointing types must be carefully considered while choosing the product, as different jointing types underline differently the modular grid of the system in relation to the building.

THE ARCHITECT’S ROLE

The reduction of energy consumption and the use of renewable energy are becoming more and more important in terms of sustainable development in the field of architecture. In this context, the architect has a very important role as he acts as a consultant to customers. In the age of Nearly-Zero Energy Buildings, he has the obligation to inform the users about the advantages of energy-efficient buildings that can dramatically reduce the energy demand (with relative environmental and economic costs) and run with renewable energy. Thus, the architect is required to possess the knowledge and necessary tools to promote BIPV.

BIPV PRODUCTS

This session is dedicated to the photovoltaic products specially conceived to be installed in a building. We distinguish between Building Integrated PV Modules (BIPV Modules), Fastening Systems and other innovative products for various building integrations. The first category includes many PV modules / systems designed for being used as building material components. We divided this category in different subcategories according to their function.

Glasses for Roof

Facade Elements

Metal Panels

Flexible Modules

Shading Devices

Glasses for Facade

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