In the environmentally-conscious environment we live in, renewable technologies have never been more important. Second-generation technologies have evolved leaps and bounds since commercialisation and have shaped the future of an eco-friendly infrastructure the world over.
There is one energy-generating component, however, that has taken the industry by storm – photovoltaics (PV). With incentives and prototypes unveiled year on year, such as US-based Tesla’s recently-disclosed ‘invisible’ photovoltaic roof tile and the UK Government’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT), both architects and homeowners are opting for the deployment of solar PV panels.
Often associated with new-build energy-efficient developments for the interested layman, the possibilities that come with solar PV options for architects should not be underestimated. Of course, every project varies and has its different requirements and limitations, however, when it comes to building an architectonic structure; the structural possibilities are endless. One example of this is Denver Botanical Garden’s Science Pyramid, featured on this month’s cover. Its futuristic, pyramidal design comprises hexagonal photovoltaic glass manufactured from crystalline silicon.
A visually-intriguing form, the Science Pyramid, placed within the Mid-Century Modern estate of Denver Botanical Gardens, creates a contrasting effect against the organic, green environment in which it proudly stands. The project, a collaboration between photovoltaic specialist Onyx Solar and general contractor GH Phipps, serves as an exemplar of what can be achieved with solar PV.
Onyx Solar invited FC&A to dig through its archive to uncover an interview it conducted with all parties involved in the project. To find out more about the discussion, turn to page 14.
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