Palazzo Positivo: renovation of a residential building in Switzerland with BIPV facades

Frontini, Francesco and Friesen, Thomas and von Ballmoos, Christian and Di Gregorio, Stefano (2014) Palazzo Positivo: renovation of a residential building in Switzerland with BIPV facades. In: 29th European PVSEC , 2014, Amsterdam. (In Press)

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The paper presents the refurbishment of a residential building located in Chiasso (Switzerland) fully covered by photovoltaic modules. The eight storey apartment house was built in 1965 and after 45 years it was decided, due to its bad condition, to refurbish it. The building owner has set itself the target to totally renovate the building and to achieve the passive house standard. At the beginning of the construction phase, the builders put the goals even higher, deciding that by the use of BIPV modules to the entire facades they can achieve the Plus energy house standard (netZero Energy building). The renovation ended in November 2013. Beside the BIPV facades, a single-axis tracking photovoltaic plant was also installed on the pergola roof terrace in October of 2013 as a last resort. This paper describes the building before and after renovation and discusses the critical points in the planning phase and during construction. Moreover, in order to assess the mechanical stability of the glass-glass a-Si module assembly on the facade, mechanical stress tests were performed in the SUPSI laboratories, which are explained in detail in this paper together with an accurate raytracing analysis (based on RADIANCE tool simulation) done to optimize the BIPV module strings and consequently to increase the energy production on an annual basis.

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