Towards integrated design strategies for implementing BIPV systems into urban renewal processes: first case study in Neuchâtel (Switzerland)

In view of the importance of urban renewal processes, building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems can potentially provide a crucial response to the challenges of the energy turnaround. Functioning both as envelope material and electricity generator, they can simultaneously reduce the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions while providing savings in materials and electricity costs. These are precisely the objectives of most European energy directives, from zero- to positive-energy buildings. In Switzerland for instance, one way to achieve the objectives of the “Energy strategy 2050” is to install PV systems to cover 1/3 of the annual electricity demand. However, despite continuous technological and economic progress, the significant assets of BIPV remain broadly undervalued in the current practice. Various obstacles (technology choice, small volumes, lack of information and good examples, etc.) tend to increase the costs and reduce the acceptance of BIPV solutions. The present paper is an integral part of an interdisciplinary research project. Focusing on the architectural design issues, it presents the first results of a representative case study carried out in the city of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). The approach involves four main phases (Fig.1): (i) archetypes identification, (ii) building detailed analysis, (iii) development of architectural renewal design scenarios, and (iv) multi-criteria assessment of each scenario (energy consumption, electricity production, cost-effectiveness, and Life-Cycle Analysis). The application of the proposed approach on a case study allows us to initiate the first step towards a holistic and reliable multi-criteria comparison methodology for BIPV-adapted solutions in urban renewal design processes in the Swiss context.

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