Considering Photovoltaic Technology as a part of the building material

H. Sozer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The use of PV technology in buildings is growing very fast throughout the world. In the U.S., Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) have been integrated into some limited, small-scale projects. However, BIPV's are now being considered on larger scale building projects, as replacements for typical high-performance envelope materials. This is a result of improved economics, including higher module efficiency and lower cost of the PV cell product. The higher efficiency makes BIPV modules more attractive for non-solar normal orientations, and the lower costs and financing subsidies makes BIPV more equivalent in cost to high quality materials such as stone or metal panel. BIPV applications are still not quite well known in the building construction industry, even though the quality of the materials is going up and cost of the system is going down. When it is compared with common building materials, BIPV materials are still more expensive and don't quite fit with the architectural design and construction process. Regular quality schemes for building materials such as constructability, structural properties, life expectancy, performance and aesthetic features have not been clearly defined for photovoltaic yet. This paper will attempt to answer the question of "what do the architect and engineer need to know about the use of Photovoltaic modules as a building material and how can PV manufacturers implement solutions to these barriers".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1023
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Architecture Series
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventSecond International Conference on Urban regeneration and Sustainability, SUSTAINABLE CITY II - Segovia, Spain
Duration: 3 Jul 20025 Jul 2002


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