BIPV - Building Integrated Photovoltaic

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Umwelt Arena Schweiz

Opakes Dach
Zwischen 2005 und 2012
IEA PVPS Task 15
Umwelt Arena BIPV roof
Türliackerstrasse 4, Spreitenbach, Schweiz

The Umwelt Arena is the first Swiss centre of excellence for the environment with the widest integrated PV plant. The arena offers more than 40 different exhibitions for individuals, families and professionals over an area covering 11,000 m2. In 2011, the MegaSlate® roof system from 3S Photovoltaics (a member of Meyer Burger Technology Ltd.) was integrated. BE Netz was responsible for the installation.

Funds for the realization of the Umwelt Arena were received from leading Swiss partners recognising its strategies with regard to the sustainable energy supply and the importance of the natural habitat.

​Information sources:,

Ästhetische Integration

The building roof presents a modern architectonic design. It stretches almost down to the ground, in the manner of a dome and is completely covered with PV modules. The architect René Schmid was looking for a shape that expresses dynamism and athleticism. It is inspired partly by the outstretched wings of a bird and partly by the world of fast cars and speedboats. The photovoltaic panels form the protective shell of the building like a reptile’s scales. Its facets and the darkly gleaming panels are reminiscent of a crystal. The architecture of the Umwelt Arena is an example of how ecology and economy can be harmoniously combined in the shape of a modern building.

Energietechnische Integration

The PV system was calculated to generate around 540,000 kWh per year, twice the amount of energy that it consumes, with a zero CO2 balance. Other energy production systems are solar thermal panels and a biogas process based on food waste. The solar thermal system is used to cool the building in summer and heat it in winter with an innovative system. The equipment used for this system and the appliances used in the Umwelt Arena run with the self-generated electricity. Some of the surplus electricity is stored and/or used by neighbourhood properties.

Technologische Integration

The roof present an octagonal BIPV system with 5239 modules produced by 3S Swiss Solar Systems and installed on a total of 33 differently oriented trapezoidal surfaces, with slopes ranging from 6° to 62°. The solar modules are frameless, 3663 of them are standard modules and 1644 have special shapes.


Walter Schmid planned the Umwelt Arena Schweiz as an environmental arena and interactive exhibition on sustainability. With its award-winning construction, the building itself is part of the exhibitions which can be visited with tour guides.

Gesammelte Erfahrung

This project showed that electricity generation could be successfully integrated in a building, but the obstacles were the fixed shape and the shiny dark blue appearance of the PV modules. We have tried and learned different techniques to overcome those obstacles, by creating matt finishes to reduce reflection or colours away from the standard blue, black or brown. Today it is much easier, as PV modules come in many different colours, materials and compositions, with more innovations on the way. In the past, PV has influenced architecture in a negative way with its visually unappealing standard modules that often appear as alien elements on roofs and walls. Now, with the new array of options for colours and patterns as well as the aesthetic and structural integration of PV into the building, possibilities for artistic expression are endless. Some of the most spectacular buildings in the world incorporate solar energy in creative ways. Hopefully this will inspire more and more architects, investors and homeowners to embrace solar as a standard building tool. (Arch. René Schmid, René Schmid Architekten AG)



Andere Funktion
Opakes Schrägdach


Modul Typologie: 
Standard Module
Monokristallines Silizium
Nennleistung [kWp]: 
Systemgrösse [m²]: 
Modulgrösse [mm]: 
Norden, Osten, Süden, Westen
Neigung [°]: 


Gesamtkosten [€]: 


Meyer Burger
Schorenstrasse 39, Thun, Schweiz
Kontakt: +41 33 221 28 00


Türliackerstrasse 4, Spreitenbach, Schweiz

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