Specific renovation projects
In order to obtain practice-relevant knowledge, «Active interfaces» is testing its approaches with very specific renovation projects. Successes have been recorded in several sub-projects, for example in a study in Neuchâtel. Here, researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) showed that BiPV can be used during the renovation of facades of buildings of different ages.
The joint project is providing importing findings for the future use of BiPV in various areas:
- Buildings: combining the building envelope and electricity generation reduces the consumption of fossil energies as well as greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, building owners save on materials and electricity costs.
- Financial attractiveness: although the initial investments for renovation projects with BiPV are higher than the costs for a conventional renovation, the effort is worthwhile when viewed over the long term. The amortisation period is shorter than the expected service life of a BiPV system.
- Market conditions and regulation: in 2014, the cantons agreed on new standards in the area of energy legislation for buildings (as part of the fourth revision of the model provisions of the cantons in the energy sector (MuKEn)). It will only be possible to significantly improve the distribution of BiPV if the MuKEn are appropriately implemented by the cantons.
- Acceptance: a survey shows that building owners have a positive attitude when it comes to BiPV. Of the 500 surveyed building owners, 85 % were not put off by the greater initial costs in light of the long-term benefits.
- Reduction of complexity: simpler solutions are required in order to make BiPV more attractive for building owners and investors. For example, only when suppliers are able to offer «ready-to-use» solar roofs as part of renovation projects will the technology enjoy greater distribution.
Despite all of the positive findings: there is still a great deal of work for all stakeholders. Legislators, architects, building owners and technology providers must work together hand in hand in order to quickly conquer the new field of BiPV.
All information on the joint project can be found at www.activeinterfaces.ch