Development Magazine Summer 2010

Development - Ownership

Strategically Green - Solar’s New Look

SRS Energy installed their first commercial embedded solar tile system at Zwahlen’s Ice Cream Shop outside Philadelphia, Pa.

The idea for integrated solar roofing tiles was inked on a cocktail napkin at 30,000 feet over a decade ago. During that plane ride, a vision for seamless solar roofing was born.

SRS Energy (formerly Solar Roofing Systems Inc.) was incorporated in 1997 in Philadelphia, Pa. At that time, the idea of embedding photo voltaics into roofing products was cost prohibitive, but persistence paid off when the concept’s potential was reevaluated years later. Since 2005, steady progress has been made in the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing market.

SRS Energy is working in concert with roofing manufacturers to develop a collection of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing products. CEO Marty Low states that the solar roofing tiles are designed to integrate with existing roofing systems in both form and function and feature light-weight polymer technology (think car bumpers) engineered for roofing applications. Building owners can now go solar without compromising roof aesthetics.

The Solé Power Tile™, SRS Energy’s introductory product to the U.S. market, is a curved solar tile which functions as a durable roofing product with electrical-generation capabilities. According to the manufacturer, the flexible photovoltaic technology encapsulated within a Solé Power Tile has the ability to outperform conventional panel technology in diffuse and low-light conditions as well as elevated temperatures, commonly found on the roof. The company is launching the product into a California test market toward the latter half of 2010 with a nationwide roll-out to follow. Additional solar roofing profiles (styles and colors) are currently under development for both the domestic and international markets.

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From the Archives: Development Ownership Articles from the Previous Issue

vertical farm

First Look - Buildings That Grow Food 

Given the current economy, adaptive reuse of existing buildings is the new darling. Some older properties are refreshed with small retailers looking to save money, some become art galleries for starving artists, still others are just remade into more modern space. But there’s another, less common use – growing food.

auto charging station with car

First Look - Charge It Up 

With the anticipated arrival of the Chevy Volt in late 2010 and Nissan Leaf in 2012, parking garages there are gearing up for electric cars. Two or three years from now, competition could ensue from parking garages that provide charging stations and those that do not.