BIPV? What's this?
Solar modules (or photovoltaics) produce electricity from sunlight. “Building-integrated photovoltaics" BIPV is the integration of these modules into a building envelope.
Specifically, we call a solar module integrated, if it is part of the building and thus replaces another elements of the building envelope. Depending on the definition, this refers to its constructional and to its aesthetic features. Solar modules designed along BIPV principles provide a variety of features, like weather protection, heat insulation, light- or acoustic shield, making it a multifunctional architectural element.
As integrated facade-material, the solar module becomes a permanent feature of the building, where it fulfils a practical role as a constructional element and as generator of green energy. On top of that - perhaps most importantly - it has to be integrated into the facade aesthetically. Therefore, BIPV modules have to primarily meet the aesthetic requirements too like materiality, visual appearance and proportion.