BIPV - Building Integrated Photovoltaic

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Smart Lab

Architectural system: 
Semi-transparent façade
Cold façade
Building use: 
BIPV costruction year: 
From 2005 to 2012
Eurac Research
Smart Lab BIPV façade system (Arch. Gianluca Perottoni)
Viale Trento 46, Rovereto (TN), Italy

In 2009, the municipality of Rovereto commissioned to Arch. Gianluca Perottoni (ViTre Studio) the Smart Lab project. The company Costruzioni Debiasi started the construction works. Later, Arch. Perottoni changed the project with the integration of the photovoltaic plant on the south-facing façade. He led the monitoring, accounting as well as the safety coordination during the construction phase. Schüco International Italia Srl was the main technical responsible for the design and the installation of the BIPV plant. In 2013, the building achieved the Silver level for the LEED sustainability rating system, according to the ‘Leed Italia 2009 Nuove Costruzioni e Ristrutturazioni’ protocol.

Aesthetic integration

The BIPV plant consists of thin-film modules that cover almost a whole facade of Smart Lab, the youth centre of Rovereto. The modules comprise a homogeneous surface. They have a significant visual impact, increasing the architectural value of a building placed at the city gates. The building is designed for high visitor numbers. The building is a sociocultural meeting place for young people run by the local youth association.

Energy integration

The photovoltaic façade is a semi-transparent layer within a double skin system, able to control the solar gain (Arch. Gianluca Perottoni). It was calculated to produce around 9,072 kWh per year (PVGIS photovoltaic software), providing more than the 30% of the estimated building electricity demand (Schüco International Italia Srl). The BIPV system is one of the measures adopted in Smart Lab with the prospect of green building and energy efficiency (e.g. high quality of the technical-constructive strategies, recycled materials, etc.).

Technology integration

90 photovoltaic modules ProSol TF+ are integrated according to Schüco ventilated façade system. The modules are made of microamorphous silicon cells (20% transparency), which combine amorphous and microcrystalline silicon. The bearing structure is composed of metal uprights and crosspieces hiding the junction boxes and the cabling system.

Decision making

Obtaining the LEED certification was one of the main reasons that lead the municipality to include a photovoltaic system, together with other project adjustments regarding the building construction features as well as the electric and hydraulic plants. The photovoltaic plant was integrated on the building South façade, facing a large urban park and a busy street, highly visible to the community. It represents the municipality’s commitment towards a sustainable environment (Arch. Gianluca Perottoni).

Lesson learnt

The use of the microamorphous silicon technology creates a homogeneous aesthetically appealing surface, hiding the facade behind, which is made of glazed and opaque parts. The microamorphous silicon modules are used together with an innovative mounting system that guarantees an effective thermal insulation effect and a high-quality architectural result (the joints outside visible are 60 mm wide). This consideration underlines how a continuous innovation of technologies can be essential to the increased diffusion of the BIPV systems. It should motivate the designers to research the best available products.



Project type: 
New construction
Building function: 
Integration system: 
Semi-transparent cold façade


Module type: 
Standard modules
Solar technology: 
Microamorphous silicon
System capacity [kWp]: 
System size [m²]: 
Module size [mm]: 
1,100 x 1,300
Tilt [°]: 


Total cost [€]: 


Schüco International Italia Srl
Via del Progresso 42, Padova, Italy


Viale Trento 46, Rovereto (TN), Italy

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