Building a new office, warehouse, school hall or any kind of addition is an exciting but stressful undertaking for any organisation. Sometimes adding a solar PV system is discussed during the planning stage but very often it gets left off the plans or the final build because there’s simply too much else to focus on or because it’s seen as a way to save on costs.
Many builders will suggest that “you can always add solar on afterwards”.
In many instances it’s no problem to add solar afterwards, however, Planet Ark Power has been involved in enough solar projects to understand that there are many reasons to include solar PV in the design of your new build and even to ensure it’s added during the construction phase.
Below we outline 6 reasons why you should consider adding solar to your new build from day one.
- You can make sure your roof can hold a solar pv system - A common issue for organisations wanting to install large solar pv systems on an existing building is that a roof might not be able to hold the extra load. Ensuring you incorporate solar PV into the design phase means you’re future proofing your roof for a nice big solar PV system that will produce clean, cheap energy in the future.
- Identify locations for equipment and storage - If you design your new build with solar (and storage) in mind then you’ll be able to ensure there’s suitable, safe space to house inverters and battery systems down the track.
- You’ll save on installation costs. It only makes sense that having a solar PV system installed during construction will save you on installation costs. The solar installers will be able to work with the primary electricians to run cabling and access the roof. Potential savings include crane or scaffold hire, anchor points and primary electrical works and you’ll be assured of a neat job.
- Avoid impacts on tenants - Fixing down racks to support dozens or even hundreds of panels to a roof can make a heck of a noise! We've recently seen a situation where the noise and inconvenience caused to a tenant was significant such that the landlord needed to provide free rent for a period. By adding solar PV during the build you’ll minimise this impact.
- Reduce red-tape (NSW) - In NSW, rooftop solar PV requires council approval for systems larger than 10kw with full assessment for systems above 100kw. If the solar system is specified in the original building application (even if you don’t build it straight away) you’ll avoid the need to come back and get a separate approval for your solar system later down the track saving time and money.
- Solar can save your organisation money from day 1 - As soon as your new build is occupied you’ll be using electricity. In most cases today, businesses can reap significant savings from rooftop solar PV immediately. Delaying installation only delays the savings you’ll be making on your electricity bill from your own rooftop solar system!
Have we missed any other benefits from incorporating solar into the design/construction of a new build? Add them in the comments below.
Planet Ark Power has worked with in a wide variety of sectors to assist in the design of their new building to ensure solar can be installed during construction and savings can be made from day one. Contact us now if you’re planning on building.