Page 67 - European Energy Innovation - Autumn 2015 publication
P. 67
Autumn 2015 European Energy Innovation 67


Photo: Courtesy of Belectric OPV the world”. Malcic is confident very beautiful projects. Our
that if they took the plunge to customers care about their image.
Larry Malcic, Design Principal at manufacture PV-enabled ones, They want beautiful façades
the architecture, engineering and design teams would understand and buildings. The second
urban planning firm HOK, gave them as familiar components, thing they want is a sustainable
two reasons why the BIPV industry readily and relatively effortlessly image – to be associated with
ought to work more closely with including them in their designs. companies doing the right thing
the curtain wall3 industry, no for the environment. Thirdly,
part of which, so far as he was Neil Pennell, Head of Engineering the façade has to work and to
aware, was “doing anything with and Design at Land Securities, produce electricity.” But Frédéric
PV”. Firstly, some curtain walls a company that owns, develops Bonnefoy, Product Manager
are made of large, prefabricated and manages offices, shops Active Glass at AGC, a large glass
elements often produced in and housing in the UK, noted a manufacturer supplying many
standard sizes. “Frankly, they preference among his potential different industries, said, “For us
already look like PV panels, so it’s customers for glassy buildings: aesthetics is not the main driver
a natural fit,” he said. Secondly, “They afford daylight, good of BIPV. [A few stylish buildings]
production is concentrated in views and a feeling of space”. do not constitute a market.
“half a dozen players around He identified BIPV as a way to The market will only come with
continue to meet this demand affordable, efficient and durable
while complying with ever more solutions. Return on investment is
stringent energy performance important.”
Barriers to BIPV deployment
“There’s an inbuilt conservatism
If the potentials are so self- in the construction industry,” said
evident, why have they not been Pennell. “BAPV has a track record
exploited? One reason could that BIPV does not yet have.
be the unsettled question of the Elements that serve an aesthetic
relative importance of electricity function need to prove that they
generation and aesthetic quality retain their original appearance as
in BIPV elements and another, well as maintain a decent level of
related to the first, is conservatism electricity generation.” Speaking
in the building industry and in the from the perspective of the UK,
financial community. he said commercial buildings
are valued on the income stream
Aesthetic appeal they will produce. “Premature
obsolescence, for example in a
Paul Cartuyvels of the component on the building, is
construction company Bouygues a risk that reduces a building’s
underlined the importance of value.” Attitudes to PV are,
aesthetics: “When I talked to however, softening. While there
the people in my company, the are only “a few instances” to date
first thing they said was that of the presence of a PV system
BIPV has to be beautiful.” The on a building adding to the
CEO of Issol4, Laurent Quittre building’s value when sold, this is
said, “The primary objective of becoming more common.
a company like mine is to make

1 EU PV TP: a group of researchers from industry, academia and research centres advising the European Commission on PV technology policy:
2 8 July 2015 – RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), London
3 Curtain walls: non-load-bearing exterior walls of buildings, sometimes known as a building’s ‘skin’
4 Issol: a “solar glass manufacturer and a project developer of active glazing solutions” -
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