Powerful Roofs

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courtesy-of-oksolar.jpgWhat do you call roofing material that not only acts to protect a structure from the weather, but also generates electricity to power the building? The answer and an innovative solution is Building Integrated Photovoltaics, or BIPV. This type of roofing system has solar-powered modules built right into the roof’s surface which provide a more unified look than the more obvious solar panels that are placed on top of a roof.

Harnessing the power of the sun is becoming increasingly appealing due to improved technology, aesthetics, and mainstream interest in green building.

There are several types of BIPVs which work well to compliment most types of roofing, from asphalt shingles to standing seam metal roofing, and even to slate and concrete tiles. These systems can either supplement utility-provided electricity or power an entire building.

Benefits from utilizing a clean, renewable source of power include reduced reliance on oil, coal, gas, and nuclear power. BIPVs are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint if you have an unshaded, south-facing roof. They can be used on new residential and commercial buildings, as well as on existing buildings when old roofs need replacing.

Governmental tax incentives may be available to help offset the cost of such photovoltaic systems. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for more information on state and federal tax rebates, credits and deductions.

According to Toolbase.org, “PV cells actually reduce the cost of powering homes and other buildings. The amount varies depending on the size of the system, the building’s location, and the building’s energy needs.”

Tag(s): Energy, Green Building, Greenhouse Gas Emissions / Global Warming, Money Saving, The Great Green Outdoors

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