Improving the market up-take of energy producing solar shading: A communication model to discuss preferences for architectural integration across different professions
Paper in proceedings, 2017
Electricity producing solar shading provides possibilities for a combined solution for solar shading and
building integrated locally produced energy from renewable sources. The multi-functionality of these
products calls for collaboration between a range of actors from manufacturers, clients, architects,
engineers, and contractors. Two major challenges for the increased up-take of the technology has been
identified and is dealt with in a transdisciplinary research project, called ELSA, involving industry and
academic institutions. First, the successful architectural integration of solar shading in terms of form,
size, colour, detailing etc. in relation to the overall building design will be decisive in order to persuade
architects. Second, the development of these multi-functional products to reach functional, technical,
economic and aesthetical qualities is dependent upon communication between different professions.
As a means to initiate a dialogue between the different professional groups taking part in the ELSA
project, a model, the AIQ-model (Architectural Integration Qualities), to assess preferences for
architectural integration of energy producing solar shading was developed and tested in a workshop.
The results indicate a large consensus across different professional groups when assessing successful
architectural integrations. Consequently, discrepancies in aesthetic appraisal of energy producing solar
shading should not be the main hindrance for a broader implementation of such solutions. The challenge
rather lies in that architectural integration qualities will concur with other important aspects of the
multi-functional solution, and not all professional groups will put architectural integration qualities
above other functions. The workshop shows that the AIQ model serves its function to initiate and to
focus discussions. The value of group discussions to reach consensus was also observed. The AIQ
model provide definitions to clarify the judgment base behind aesthetic assessments that was
appreciated but all groups but most easily applied by the architects. The model should be further
developed to include also other aspects than aesthetics.