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Research

1 OCT 2019

Prefabricated building integrated photovoltaics: cost and deployment

This research evaluates the mechanisms driving the cost reductions and deployment of prefabricated Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and explores the benefits, including aesthetics, of integrating photovoltaics within building materials and the challenges that need to be overcome.

Technology development, commercialisation, and manufacturing scaling have contributed significantly to rapid reductions in solar photovoltaic hardware costs. However, the soft costs, including design, financing, procurement, permitting, installation, labour, and inspection, have not declined rapidly. The lack of economic confidence and the lack of collaboration between the PV and building industries make the integration of prefabricated solar panels to the building envelope difficult. This research evaluates the mechanisms driving the cost reductions and deployment of prefabricated BIPV. The research aims to formalise a deployment framework by empirically breaking down prefabricated BIPV cost trajectories into a set of low- and high-level factors and identify their reduction potentials.

About the RICS Research Trust

This research was funded by the RICS Research Trust. The Trust supports and promotes high-quality independent contributions to knowledge in the disciplines of land, real estate and construction.

The Trust is ready to consider applications from professionals and full-time researchers located anywhere in the world.