Energy Conservation is a long standing component of the architectural design and, one that we at JL Architects work with on a daily basis as part of the current industry standards. Each year more and more cities and townships adopt energy conservation codes in a concerted effort to become responsible environmental citizens. These first adoptions and design trends tend to occur in major metropolitan areas or, proactive states like California and Massachusetts. But, what about the average American household? Many environmentally conscious households have gone to solar power in an effort to reduce their footprint on the world around them, and to experience a savings on their monthly electric bill.
From a homeowners perspective the options in the last few years have become a lot more appealing and a lot less of an eye sore. The curb appeal factor is increased with innovative new solar technologies for residential users. Not all of us can afford a rotating “sunflower” photovoltaic panels like the one found atLongwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. A beauty in its own right, but usually not a realistic addition to a homeowner association ruled neighborhood.
With recent advancements in thin film solar cells, solar technology is well within reach without the eyesore of huge modular panels mounted to the roof of your home. Solar shingles are becoming readily available from multiple manufactures such as CertainTeedand, are attached to your home like a normal asphalt shingle. Although solar power will not completely take your home off the grid, it is a very nice supplement to environmental awareness and your electrical bill. If you are interested in learning more about solar shingles then click on the links below.
-Sharlee K. Van Tine, RA, LEED AP