Dovolenk, designed by Architect/Owner David Komonosky, engineered by Q3 Engineering and built by Meeker Homes. Hardware – Dual Axis Trackers by Deger, BYD Solar Modules, BAE Batteries and Schneider Inverters.
Engineering that is designed right, looks good and drives both economic and environmental benefits – that’s what solar power done well can be. A couple of common homeowner questions are how will these solar modules look and what’s going to happen to my property value?
Well, one of those questions I can answer easily – according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, homes with solar panels sell an average of $15,000 greater than those without (and here is a great talk among appraisers about the reality of these numbers). But what of beauty?
“Can one think that because we are engineers, beauty does not preoccupy us or that we do not try to build beautiful, as well as solid and long-lasting, structures? Aren’t the genuine functions of strength always in keeping with unwritten conditions of harmony?” ― Gustave Eiffel
We have to be conscious of the aesthetics of solar panels for more reasons than simply our own home value – but that of our neighbors and our Home Owner’s Association. Florida set a path long ago allowing home owners to install solar power irrelevant of HOA rulings – however, every once in a while there is a homeowner blocked by the HOA that catches the attention of the news. Architects in commercial settings are beginning to flex their creative energies in designing with solar power as the Chief Financial Officer signs off on Building Integrated PV. Some designs are downright amazing…
Of course, we know beauty is in the eye of the beholder (what do you think – ‘Moulin Eiffel’?). Please though, let us make our argument! The Solar Trade Association of the UK launched the Stunning Solar campaign with a catalog of tasteful installations. Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association:
We want to see solar become a desirable consumer product, a home improvement. There is mounting evidence that homebuyers are willing to pay more for a solar home, and systems with symmetry, architectural integration and sensitive positioning and sizing are more likely to do just that. When done carefully and with the right roofing techniques, solar can be incorporated into buildings old and new. We want to challenge the industry to improve aesthetics so that every solar install, whether on a home or a commercial building, becomes an advert for our sunshine technology.
I’ll leave you with Les Mees, southern France – in the mountainous southern Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region and a reminder that every hour the sun beams onto Earth more than enough energy to satisfy global energy needs for an entire year.
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