Reach the industry’s thought leaders
with Solar@Work, the bulletin for solar pros,
from SOLAR TODAY and the
American Solar Energy Society.
RESERVE SPACE TODAY!
Director of Sales:
Designing the Solar-Ready Roof
What the architect needs to know.
By harVEy Bryan, hEma raLLaPaLLI anD JIn ho Jo
Designing a roof to be solar ready by preparing for future quipment installation can significantly reduce the amount
of investment needed to make it feasible for photovoltaic (PV) installation. In this paper, we examine the
design constraints for solar feasibility on rooftops. We
will outline a number of considerations that should be
taken into account during the process of designing
the roof and allocating the equipment on the rooftop. The results will leave the roof clear of clutter and
increase the potential of the roof to accommodate
the maximum number of PV panels. We generate a
before and after example of how our criteria might be
applied to a 40,000 square-foot community center.
The solar industry forecasts rapid growth in solar
electric installations on commercial buildings. Most building owners
and businesses are unaware of the amount of solar power potential
that exists on their building rooftops and how cost effective these
systems can be. Preparing the roof to accommodate PV systems
is advantageous whether building owners buy the equipment
themselves or lease the rooftop to a third-party owner. Planning
for renewable energy beforehand makes considerable sense, given
the various carbon trading schemes that are now being proposed.
Achieving zero-energy or carbon-neutral buildings will remain a
distant dream without renewable energy.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Condi-
tioning Engineers’ Standard 189.11 for high-performance build-
ings has a mandatory requirement that all high-performance
building projects have solar-ready roofs that provide for the future
installation of on-site renewable energy systems, with a minimum
rating of 3. 7 watts per square foot, or 13 British thermal units per
hour per square foot.
Want to know more
Go to solartoday.org/sw to
find this paper in full. And
sign up for a free subscrip-
tion to Solar@ Work to make
sure you don’t miss articles
like this in the future.
Harvey Bryan is a professor of architecture at Arizona State University.
He holds a master’s degree in architecture, an M.S. and a Ph.D. from the
University of California at Berkeley and is a Fulbright Fellow, Fellow of
the American Institute of Architects and a Fellow of the American Solar
Energy Society. Hema Rallapalli is a graduate teaching assistant in the
department of architecture as Arizona State University; she is a LEED
AP. Jin Ho Jo is an assistant professor in the department of technology
at Illinois State University. He holds a B.S. from Purdue University and a
Ph.D. in sustainability from Arizona State.
technology, which concentrates solar energy to provide heat for producing supplemental steam for electric power production.
NREL Partners With Solarmer Energy
to Extend Life Cycle of Plastic PV
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renew-
able Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Solarmer Energy
( solarmer.com) have signed a Cooperative Research
and Development Agreement (CRADA) to collabo-
rate on improving the lifetime of plastic solar cells,
a promising new solar conversion technology. The
joint research covered by the CRADA will explore the
lifetime and stability of the organic photovoltaic (OPV)
devices that make up the energy-harvesting layers of
plastic solar cells.
to youR e-mail.
Sign up for your FREE
subscription to Solar@ Work