BIPV - Building Integrated Photovoltaic

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Ütia da Ju

BIPV architectural system: 
Semi-transparent roof
Building use: 
BIPV integration year: 
Between 2005 and 2012
Eurac Research
Ütia da Ju BIPV system hanging out from the building (Augustin Clement)
Strada Ju 43, San Martino di Badia (BZ), Italy

The PV system was integrated in 2009, two years after the construction of the building. The client, the restaurant owner Augustin Clement, entrusted Electro Clara Sas as main responsible for the BIPV system. Once carried out an energy assessment (online PVGIS) (Ertex Solartechnik GmbH), the company provided the technical design and the installation of the BIPV system. Ertex Solartechnik GmbH was chosen as modules supplier and Prada Holzbau Srl as canopy constructor.

Aesthetic integration

The PV system is integrated into the shading canopy applied to a tourist accommodation, hosting a restaurant, placed in Piz de Plaies. The solar canopy has a distinctive and original spiral structure exposed on a steep wooded slope of Val Badia, at an altitude of 1622 m. It consists of semi-transparent trapezoidal PV modules running around the building roof with a uniform inclination and partially shading the terrace. The photovoltaic canopy is a modern structure harmoniously and elegantly integrated into the natural environment of a region bound to the traditional Ladin culture and language.

Energy integration

The BIPV system BIPV system has been designed to have an annual electricity production of about 7,800 kWh to cover almost the whole building electricity demand. It feeds additional energy into the grid (Augustin Clement). Thanks to the module’s semi-transparency, the photovoltaic roofing system allows part of the sunlight to enter through the structure, contributing to the heating of the canopy, which is an enclosed space.

Technology integration

The 40 semi-transparent modules (Ertex VSG 140-211) were customized in order to match the building shape. Moreover, they had to get the specific texture and mechanical resistance as UNI7696 (Ertex Solartechnik GmbH). The modules are composed of laminated safety glass, encapsulating polycrystalline cells 2 cm spaced out. They are supported by a timber load-bearing structure, specially designed according to the modules’ shape. The structure beams hide the module’s fixing system and the cables from people staying below. All the electric connections are made of special UV-resistant cables. They are protected with waterproof ducts.

Decision making

After discovering some interesting examples of BIPV installations at an Austrian exhibition, the restaurant owner decided to apply the photovoltaic technology. He wanted to integrate it into the building in order to create an installation visible to all the visitors, aesthetically attractive and functionally useful also as a shading device. Even though the building is placed into a mountain environment, introducing an innovative element as a BIPV system did not raise any problem getting the planning permission from the public administration (Augustin Clement).

Lesson learnt

Ütia da Ju represents an exemplary case of a retrofit, where a complex structure bearing the integrated PV plant was applied after the building construction. The particular configuration of the solar canopy implies a great attention to details and specific construction solutions. The BIPV system has to guarantee the same functions as the traditional roofing system, e.g. water tightness, resistance to snow loading, to atmospheric agents, to fire, etc. It required an accurate design process which also took into account the aesthetic viewpoint. Finally, it resulted to be an expressive architectural element thanks to the module’s aesthetic appearance and the shading effect under the structure. The solar canopy covers an area which was equipped to accommodate the restaurant customers that can appreciate the attractive atmosphere.



Project type: 
Building function: 
Integration system: 
Semi-transparent tilted roof


Module type: 
Custom made modules
Solar technology: 
Polycrystalline silicon
System capacity [kWp]: 
System size [m²]: 
Module size [mm]: 
From 75° West to 45° East
Tilt [°]: 


Total cost [€]: 


Ertex Solartechnik GmbH
Mitterhofer Strasse 4, Amstetten, Austria
Contact: +43 747228260


Strada Ju 43, San Martino di Badia (BZ), Italy

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