Concrete and Solar Panels: New Roof Tech and How to Save Money Today

rooftech solar

UPDATED 8/6/2020

Need a new roof and looking to make an energy-efficient purchase? Well, the newest roof tech can help.

A prototype has been developed for an ultra-thin curved concrete roof that also generates solar power. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich say the futuristic design will allow a residential structure that is part of the school to generate more energy than it uses.

The roof design is made up of several layers. An inner sheet made from concrete acts as a foundation for heating and cooling coils and insulation. Thin-film photovoltaic cells are then installed on the exterior of the building to harvest solar energy.

Philippe Block, a professor of architecture and structures at ETH Zurich, and Arno Schlüter, a professor of architecture and building systems, led the research team. Their goal was to combine adaptive building systems with the new lightweight construction.

The initial prototype design was 7.5 meters high, with a total curved surface area of 160 square meters. It has now been taken down, with plans to implement the same design next year in a roof-top apartment unit called HiLo on the NEST, the living lab building of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology.

how to select roofing shingles

About four out of five homes in the U.S. have asphalt shingles and are constructed with non-reusable materials. However, this project used a net constructed from steel cables covered with a polymer textile, producing a form the concrete would be able to bond to. In doing this, the project had an unusual design but was considerably cheaper in terms of material costs.

Another advantage of the flexible formwork solution is that the area underneath the roof remains open, so interior building construction can be done at the same time.

Due to a calculation method developed by the Block Researcher Group and their collaborators in the Swiss National Centre of Competence (NCCR) in Digital Fabrication, the cable net is designed to take on the desired shape under the weight of the wet concrete.

The scientists were able to determine the correct concrete mixture, which needed to be liquid enough to be sprayed and vibrated yet thick enough to not flow off the fabric shuttering.

The team built the prototype within six months. It represents a huge milestone for the NEST HiLo project.

“We’ve shown that it’s possible to build an exciting, thin concrete shell structure using a lightweight, flexible formwork, thus demonstrating that complex concrete structures can be formed without wasting large amounts of material for their construction,” says Block.

how to select roofing shingles

If you’re looking to save on energy, you can always add solar panels to your existing roof. Roof solar panel wattage depends on the model you have installed, but can often generate enough energy to put a serious dent in your regular bill. Your solar mount flat roof or peaked roof will work even when there cloud cover and can add a lot of value to your home.

If you have solar panels on your house that aren’t functioning or need replacing you can get them detached with demolition shears. Then you can get new panels installed.

If you’re buying a house you can incorporate solar panel roof design and you may even be able to include other green power sources. If you’re looking to save money and be green, solar power is the way to go!

It’s important to get leaky roof repair services as quickly as possible. People who try to cope with leaks are causing a lot of damage to their roofs. The leak itself will be caused by underlying problems. When those issues aren’t addressed, fixing the entire roof is going to be that much more difficult for everyone. Knowing how to select roofing shingles can help the people who are trying to get their roofs repaired and upgraded.

There are different kinds of shingles for roofs. Some shingles are known for their durability and stability. Others are chosen for their aesthetics, but they’ll still function effectively as roof shingles. Some of the new types of roofing material have more associated benefits, giving people the chance to get roofs that look great and that won’t degrade easily. Many new roofing materials were also designed to help people reduce their energy costs, since these materials are better at retaining heat.

Customers can discuss roofing options and costs with contractors and professionals in this field. If the roof has even a mild problem, it should not be ignored. People can use these situations as opportunities to get their roofs changed more thoroughly, so they’ll be ahead and not just back to where they were when they began.

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