Integrating Solar Power into New Houses and Existing Homes

Thin-film solar roof tiles on a house
Thin-film solar roof tiles on a house in Ohio.
Photo courtesy of the USA National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


The use of building integrated photovoltaics is one of the inspired ideas that organisations like USA's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are trying to move toward being deployed in a large scale.  When considering the design of a new building, the ideal situation would be that people could use the solar cells as part of the skin of the building by replacing the traditional materials used for a roof or facade.  This could potentially save money with the photovoltaic module serving both functions of the waterproof skin of the building and generating electicity.

Hypergreen Tower - A Green Skyscraper for a Sustainable Future of City Building

Skyscrapers and towers of glass and concrete are certainly not a favourite type of building for those of us who prefer to take an environmentally friendly approach to living.  Their air conditioning and lifts eating up valuable energy, the dark underground car parks and the problems of people living on top of each other in tiny boxes like rabbits in stacks of hutches makes the high-rise towers seem like something that we should be campaigning against.