In recent years photovoltaic technology, the conversion of sunlight to electricity, has made great technological strides.

But in the main, solar photovoltaics, where utilised, are often applied as an 'add on' solution to buildings, an afterthought, and in a way that may be efficient, but is not always a testament to good design.

There's no doubt that the uptake of the technology by architects and engineers could be improved by more sensitive integration into buildings – by replacing glazing, cladding, roofing or shading systems, for example, and offsetting the cost of such materials.

This programme looks at the ways of incorporating photovoltaics into buildings and discusses the wider implications with regard to embodied energy – and economics.

About the contributor

AbuBakr S Bahaj is Professor of Sustainable Energy at the University of Southampton and is the head of the Energy and Coasts Division and the Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG) within the School of Civil Engineering and the Environment.

Professor Bahaj's work encompasses the study of urban energy systems (including energy efficiency, micro wind and photovoltaics) and ocean energy conversion technologies. He has authored/co-authored more than 180 publications and leads various projects on various aspects of these areas. He is also on the Editorial Boards of Renewable Energy and the Institution of Civil Engineers' Energy journal.

He is a member of the BSI Committee GEL/82 on Photovoltaics Energy Systems and from 2001 to 2007 was a member of the BERR Technology Programmes Panels on Water (including ocean energy) and Solar Energy.

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