Solar Facades: Understanding Building Integrated Photovoltaics and Pressure-Equalized Rainscreens

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Webinar On-Demand
Sponsored by Elemex Architectural Facade Systems
Presented by Mallory Van Heeswyk and Hugh Lowry

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the benefits of photovoltaic facades to the environment, and demonstrate how BIPV facade systems can contribute to LEED certification goals for architects and owners.
  2. List the components and possible attachment methods available for a successful design and installation of a BIPV facade system.
  3. Discuss the applicable standards and codes associated with modern BIPV facade systems.
  4. Explain the advantages of specifying pressure-equalized rainscreen technologies into BIPV facade system designs.


AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
As an IACET Accredited Provider, BNP Media offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia
This test is no longer available for credit

This presentation will offer a basic overview of rainscreen technologies being used to incorporate BIPV into even the most discriminating design demands. We will discuss the important role onsite power generation can play in creating positive environmental impacts, contributing to LEED certification goals, and positively impacting costs associated with energy use. We will look at the components required to successfully install and operate a BIPV system, as a well as some of the design consideration architects should pay attention to in order to maximize solar capture and system performance. Also, this content will address how BIPV facades can meet or beat applicable standards and building codes. Finally, this presentation will discuss the advantages of solar facades that are specified with a pressure-equalized rainscreen solution, and how this option provides a more durable and sustainable system.

Solar Facades

Photo courtesy of Elemex Architectural Facade Systems


Mallory Van Heeswyk, is the Business Development Supervisor at Elemex where she leads a sales team that focuses on architectural facade systems. Experienced and personable, Mallory has traveled across North America presenting to firms of all sizes. She works directly with Architects, General Contractors, Installers and Project Managers to ensure overall project success from concept to completion.


Hugh Lowry, Special Projects Engineer has classic training as an engineer, and has a passion for BIPV. After completing his undergraduate at Queen's University, Hugh worked in the solar industry, primarily looking at ground-mount utility projects. Taking a year to pursue an M.Eng at Western University was followed by Hugh's introduction to the building construction industry, where he has applied his solar knowledge to facades - specifically rear ventilated rainscreen systems.


Elemex Architectural Facade Systems Elemex offers the architectural industry new design possibilities with code compliant facade systems that are tested on our proprietary Unity integrated attachment technology. With Unity, we are capable of panelizing and seamlessly integrating a wide variety of facade surfaces, giving you limitless design flexibility. Our systems are backed by comprehensive support across North America with our 360° Advantage.


Originally published in December 2020