Skyscraper glass is designed to be effective and safe.

This is largely due to the entombed layer covering the glass boards. This buried overlay gives the glass substantial strength and resilience in case there are weaknesses or cracks in the glass plating. Even more, all these layers can be built themselves out of safety glass. When the glass is hardened, it makes the glass so that it will disintegrate into particles instead of dangerous pieces when the whole board is broken. If you’ve been in or seen a car wreck and noticed a bunch of turquoise or teal particles that used to be a window, then you’ve seen what’s known as safety glass. It’s designed to break like that, so the pieces don’t cut, stab, slice, or impale anyone. This is why it’s important to have a high rise window cleaning and glass repair specialist, a phone call away.

High-rise glass is rarely tempered or laminated, but it’s usually heat-strengthened.

high rise apartment building

Tempered glass might only be used in specific panels, often marked with dots, so fire fighters can know which of them they should break if they have to. In truth, we don’t typically like tempering glass because it puts extra stresses on glass which can alter the optical qualities.

A standard high-rise glazing unit is made up from two pieces of glass, sometimes called lites. They’re usually 0.25 inches or 6 mm in thickness. They are also typically separated by a half an inch of air space to create a 1-inch thick unit. Factory-made using double seals, these will often have desiccated air inside of the units, so they don’t fog up, given how dry the air is. In really cold climates, these spaces might even be filled up with argon.

The glass can be tinted, but it’s more likely lately for it just have a low emissivity coating applied on the inside surface of the exterior piece of glass. This coating will reflect solar heat out and away from its building in order to prevent the structure from gaining heat. The majority of occupied buildings spend a lot more money and energy on their cooling, as compared to their heating. The exception is in very cold cities like Minneapolis and Boston.

In certain cases, glass might be made a bit thicker. Sometimes the pieces are bigger than 5′ by 10′, which is a very common glazing size.

Prior to the fabrication of the window units, they get engineered, and their ability to withstand wind stress is verified. Glass can be really strong, particularly when the pieces are supported fully on each of its four sides, like happens a lot with normal glazing units.

There are a number of exceptions. Glass that’s closer to any floor than 18″ typically has to be laminated or tempered by code. Glass used for railings also has to be laminated or tempered. Glass that is only going to be supported on two of its sides also might need to be engineered as something thicker. Glass longer than 12′ might also need to be sized up.

Be mindful of the fact that residential glass can often be thinner than normal commercial glass. It’s common to say that 6 mm glass is ‘double strength’ since residential glass is usually 3 to 4 mm in thickness, particularly in older homes that have smaller windows.

A window sheet edge is likewise going to be bigger and a lot more grounded in order to withstand the extra wind pressure. As such, skyscraper board casings need to be bolstered with some room for expansion so they can deal with window boards that extend or compress with changes in temperature.

high rise building

Glass needs to have a number of attributes …

Thermal performance is one of them, which includes shading to keep down solar heat gain but also insulation that retains heat. That’s complex given how it must be balanced with how much light still gets transmitted through said glass.

The majority of glazing units are going to be double glazed at a minimum, and in a number of cases, the space between those panes might get filled with any number of inert gases for the added insulation.

Left to their own, pieces of glass would normally be green in color. If you wouldn’t like to have a green building, then you’d need to choose low-iron glass that has a lot less tint to it.

Thickness determines strength, although light transmittance is also impacted.

Glass is nearly always heat-strengthened. This would normally involve something called heat-soak testing, and interestingly, this is actually a destructive test. The fault being sought out specifically is any nickel sulphide inclusions within the glass that might trigger the glass to shatter spontaneously under duress. If it is able to survive this test, then it is considered safe for use.

At a minimum, glazed units have outer panes that are laminated, meaning that there is a polymer inter layer sandwiched in between the two glass sheets. This gives extra strength and can even retain glass particles if there is a physical failure. Even if glass fractures into a bunch of little cubes, they will probably stick together, although falling from anything more than three stories is still highly dangerous. This inter-layer might be colored for aesthetic reasons or solar controls.

The cost of solar continues to fall while the number of installations continues to increase …

Mainstream solar power for consumers is so new that it does pose some challenges. For example, if you want to purchase a car, there are many individuals who have done that and can let you know how this process works. Installing solar panels on the roof of your house can cost as much as a buying a car, but there are many fewer experienced buyers. There are even fewer customers who have had a solar system over the course of its full life cycle.   

In addition to that, there are high stakes – after all, it is something being installed on your roof, so it is major. It is one thing where you cannot simply say, ‘well, I’ll know better next time if I end up making a mistake.’

The cost of solar continues to fall while the number of installations continues to increase. 

solar-panel-residential

The following questions are among the most important that you need to consider before you switch to solar energy.

Can your roof support solar panel?

That is a fairly key requirement. If there is shade covering your roof for most of the day and year, then its “solar window” might not be favorable enough in order to justify the expense of solar panels. It is definitely something that you will need to assess before moving forward. So, if your roof can’t handle it, or you can’t make the determination because you live in a multiple-unit building or rent an apartment, you still don’t have to completely give up on having solar power. Instead of having your own panels installed, you can look to community or shared solar.  That approach allows a number of different customers to purchase part of a solar installation and get credits on their electric bills.  

If you have a rooftop that is suitably sunlit that you can work with, then make sure it is structurally in good shape. These days solar installations may come with 20 to 25-year warranties. If you roof is going to need to be renovated in a few years, then it will be a lot easier to get that taken care of before putting up the solar panels. This way, you will not need to pay extra money or time to disconnect the panels for roof renovation and then put them back up again. While you are doing this, be sure you are not going to run afoul of any of the covenants of your homeowners’ association that for aesthetic reasons bans rooftop solar.      

Finally, envision what your yard’s future will look life. If you have an unobstructed roof now but you planted a bunch of oak trees on your property recently, then in a couple of years you might run into trouble.  You will need to be prepared to do some pruning so that your panels are kept clear.

Have you done all that you can to improve your efficiency?

How much solar energy you are going to need to generate will depend on the amount that you use, therefore it makes sense to cut your usage as much as you can before you pay for the solar panels.  Begin by conducting an energy audit and search for efficiency upgrades prior to drawing up any blueprints.

What type of solar makes the most sense?

The two main solar technologies to choose from are photovoltaic, which utilizes arrays of cells for transforming sunlight into electricity, and then there is thermal, that utilizes sunlight for heating air or water for use indoors. If a lot of energy is used for your house for heating, or you are leaving in a place where heating fuel is costly compared to electricity, then you could break even on your solar thermal investment earlier. 

solar-panel-array

How are you able to connect with the grid?

These details will vary depending on the area where you live, however the principle is any time you connect to a utility, there will many logistics that need to be sorted out. Is there a fee that you will need to pay?  However long before the utility is able to hook you up?  After you are connected, when and how will you get credited for the electricity that you generate?  

That final one is referencing net-metering, which is the practice where rooftop solar is reimburse by utilities at the same rate that its users are charged for electricity. It is a very political fraught area: there are certain states, such as Nevada, that have adopted polities that have utilities paying less money for surplus solar, and that makes it more difficult to recoup your installation costs.  Check out the following solar scorecard for a useful guide on where all of the different states stand on this issue.   

Do you have a trustworthy installer?

That applies whenever you hire somebody to come inside of your home, however solar combines risks associated with electrical work and a home improvement project’s logistics. References and credential are especially important.  You would not want to hire any electrician who hasn’t done any electrical work to visit your home and make changes to it. Especially look for North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) accreditation. It is a major expense, so don’t hesitate to get a couple of quotes before signing a contract.    

It is a lot harder to predict, but you ideally want to hire a company that is going to be around for the lifespan of your installation. Because there are no moving pieces on solar cells, they have a tendency to not need a lot of maintenance. But in case anything stops working within the warranty period, the last thing you want is to discover is your installer is not around any longer to repair it. So, don’t sign a contract until all details of financing and ownership are addressed first.

Buy or lease?

All household have to run their own cost-benefit analyses on this fundamental trade-off. Purchasing your own system will have a higher upfront cost but pay larger dividends; leasing gives you access to less expensive energy with no or little money down, but there are more limited benefits. If you lease, the system is own by the company that you contract with, and then you pay a specific rate for your electricity; after the lease has come to an end, they may take away the system.  If you own the system, then it will continue to work for you long after the cost of your purchase has been paid off.  Be sure to compare the lease’s total life cycle cost and weigh it against the savings versus the benefits you would receive from ownership. 

When doing your financial analysis, remember that these panels may function for daces, however the system’s other electronic equipment, such as the power inverts, do have shorter lifespans.  So, make sure you factor in any potential replacements for these other system components when you are making your budget for your project’s cost.

consent-contract

What should your contract include?

You contract should spell out all of the different details regarding performance expectations, ownership, and financing.  Also, since the systems may come with web-enabled devices, check to see if anybody is gathering data on your home energy usage and production.

Before You Install Solar Panels on Your Roof Consider the Following Factors …

You can potentially damage waterproofing, compromise thermal efficiency and void your warranty if you decide to have solar panels installed on your roof without taking the proper precautions. To get the most out of renewable energy, without damaging your home, you may want to consider these tips before installation.

solar-panel-home

Effects on The Performance of Your Roof

The professionals who decide to have solar panels installed on roofs may not be familiar with the costs and challenges involved when replacements or repairs are being carried out, let alone the effects on the performance of the roof, as they do not have a roofing background.

Furthermore, when it comes to having solar panels installed on roofs, complicated legal and logistical problems arise. This is usually the case where property owners allow solar power providers to rent their roofs. Conflicts relating to liability in case of damage, vandalism or theft, income lost when roof work necessitates the removal of panels or safety issues, may arise if not clearly defined under the contract. 

Where solar panels are to be installed, manufacturers usually have specific requirements. Your warranty cover can be voided by any installations made on existing roofs without the approval of the roofing manufacturer or contractor.

Last but not least, roofs covered with photo-voltaic panels are yet to be completely fire tested. Cases of fires involving solar panels have been reported, though rare. Plastic components that are susceptible to fire are used on some ballasted systems. Another cause for concern comes in the form of polystyrene pads located under the panels to reduce the risk of damage.

These factors however do not mean that roof mounted solar panels are a no go.

They simply point to the fact that various precautions should be taken by facility managers and owners who should start by familiarizing themselves with the risks involved.

Assessing the Suitability Of Your Roof

Wind and seismic loads, the frame and decking, load bearing capacity, age and condition of the roof, roofing system type and slope, etc are some of the factors you should consider when assessing the suitability of a roof to the installation of solar panels.

Taking into consideration the ability to work with the overall design strategy, roofs should be categorized as best, better or good. Roofs that are able to support, without the need for modifications, higher loads are suitable for installation.

Roofs built with a positive slope (for drainage purposes), high compression strength built conventional roof membrane assemblies and protected membrane roofs are also considered to be suitable for installation.  

If you choose to install solar panels on single-ply membranes, always ensure that you use bulkier membranes.  Any roofs using precast panels or blocks made of autoclaved aerate concrete, or decks made of light wood are unsuitable for solar panel installation.

Whether to have a laminated, penetrating, mechanically fastened or ballasted system installed, is one of the basic choices.

According to NRCA recommendations, a penetrating system with panels are attached to the building structure directly, should be used for installations on low slope roofs.

Some of the main reasons why ballasted systems are so common include a higher return on the provider investment, minimal risk of damage to the structure during installation and lower installation costs. 

solar-panel-installation

To ensure that posts, sleepers or curbs can stand up to live loads, such as wind and seismic, when used, they must be attached to the frame of the supporting building. The system may fail, or even collapse due to failure to identify environmental loads including wind and snow.

Unlike ballasted systems, you can achieve a higher degree of predictability with mechanically attached and penetrating systems. Its true that most roof-mounted solar panel systems use a ballasted system, simply because it is easier and cheaper to install, however, the earlier mentioned alternatives can be used on any roofing system and building.

Arranging solar panels on a weighted aluminum rack to hold them in place is a good example of a ballasted installation system. In most cases, in addition to the installation of a high-density cover board directly beneath the roof membrane, the use of a thicker membrane (in case of single-ply, a minimum thickness of 60 millimeters) is required by most manufacturers.

This requirement not only lowers the risk of accidental damage but also enhances durability. 

The weight, per square foot, of a ballasted solar panel system is five pounds; to provide extra protection against wind, this number increases around the outer perimeter and at the end of the PV panels.  Existing roofs usually do not have the additional strength needed to support this increased load, something that can be accommodated in new constructions.

Useful Solar Pane Installation Tips

The ability of an aggregate ballasted roofing system or protected membrane roof to support the increased load brought about by the installation of solar panels can be improved upon by changing it to a single ply or modified bitumen membrane that is lighter than the pre-existing roof membrane or a conventional roof.

It might not always be wise to change the entire roofing system to simply support the installation of solar panels. There are risks to using a single ply membrane to cap off an existing roof that’s had its aggregate cover stripped away, with the challenge of locating leaks in case it gets punctured and water is trapped after spreading beyond the original point of entry, being chief among them.

Having a larger number of PV panels installed on a smaller space goes against good solar design and roofing practices even though it may translate into good economics.

PV panels should be installed away from any walls or equipment that can bring about shading from time to time. They should also not be near or above any equipment that produces hot air, which in turn affects the efficiency of the panels. High wind zones, including roof edges and corners, are unsuitable for solar panel installation.

You can find information on the recommended smoke and ventilation set up, access path locations and clearance widths in the Guidelines for Roof-Mounted Photovoltaic System Installations by the NRCA.

An accumulation of snow or ice can dislodge solar panels installed on a moderate slope. Avoid this and protect the roof membrane from any risk of damage posed by the frame of the solar panels by mounting ballasted systems on top of a pad.

To protect them against damage from traffic on the roof, work areas and walkways should be fitted with extra protection. To ensure that the solar panels can be serviced without having to enter the building, a separate, secured, roof access should be created.

Consider having the existing roof replaced, before having the panels installed, if it is not expected to last as long as the solar panels. The roof must be modified or have spare capacity to accommodate the additional weight of the panels on top of meeting the relevant codes.

Remember that using roof membrane systems that weigh less to replace aggregate ballasted and BUR roofs can help meet the spare capacity requirements of a solar panel installation. Panels should be installed away from overhead cables and trees, areas where snow accumulates and the edges of roofs. The system should also be installed away from any panels, equipment or taller structures that cause shading.

It can be a struggle to market solar energy. For most customers, it’s a long-term investment and it will require a huge cost up front. It’s not like other industries, so you’ll want to invite customers to your sales funnel and carefully nurture your leads into a sale so that the consumer learns more about your company.

These tips should help you to create a solid solar energy campaign which will provide you with an improved return on your investment.

solar-energy

Showcase the Benefits

There are many great benefits to using solar. Be sure that you showcase these in your marketing. According to research, solar energy can greatly reduce your utility costs and reduce greenhouse gases. Focus on the cost savings and how you can save by sharing this in an email campaign. As consumers learn more about this, they’ll want to find ways to take advantage of the benefits. Invite them to your website to get a free quote.

Highlight the benefits of solar in blog posts and share on social media. Invite your visitors to share as well on their social media. This way, you’ll influence more customers. This can increase sales by as much as 36 percent. Encourage friends and family to share as well. List the benefits on flyers and canvas the neighborhood.

Know the Audience

Target the right audience. This can lead to more sales. Solar can give homeowners many great benefits. Be sure that you share this out in the suburbs. Those who are over 55 are often huge solar users and will capitalize on the opportunity. They want to control what they’re paying for power.

After you’ve worked on your target demographic, you can choose which route to use to reach your audience. 38 percent of those over the age of 55 read the newspaper. Take out an ad. Those in the bracket below 55 may be more likely to use social media to capitalize on that.

Combine several marketing channels for better results. Send out emails in the early stages of the sales and follow up on potential leads. Use telephone marketing and have plenty of question and answer forums running to answer questions.

Use Personalized Marketing

Solar is never an impulse buy. Solar systems use 5000-watt ranges and typically run from $10,000 to $13,000 and up. Show customers how they can save energy consumption with solar and how much they’ll save on their energy bill. Show customers how it’s worth their investment to go solar. Personalize the marketing and tailor the promotions to your market.

Utilize the information for tax relief in your local area. Consider state rebates and tax credit options. This can greatly reduce the cost of starting out with solar. Take advantage of incentives that may vary from one state to another. Show customers how this will benefit them in the long run.

According to research, the better marketing strategies are personal. Personalized emails (people love personalization), are far more successful.

It’s easy to market solar power when you use these tips and trips. Personalize, highlight the benefits of solar and target your audience decisively. In this fashion, you can turn those leads into sales and gain a huge return on your investment.

As population increases and space decreases, many cities are now exploring new ways to make use of their rooftops.

Today, cities are much denser, taller, and even busier than how it was in the past, and because of this, there is a constant battle for land. It does not matter the kind of job you do; may it be a developer, farmer, transport manager, or receptionist, if you are a city dweller, you are forced to compete for the available space. According to expert prediction, 1/3 of the world’s population is predicted to live in the city by 2050. Surely, if this is the case, the stress on urban infrastructure looks outpace even the most carefully laid plans. Nonetheless, if you look at aerial images of city centers around the world, you will see many sports of unused space; i.e. rooftops. Did you know that rooftops represent about 15 to 35% of the total land area, depending on the size of the city?

Therefore, what can you do with this space? This is the million-dollar question. In high-density cities, the roofs are dedicated to recreation. This is where you will find everything from pools and bars, to running tracks and soccer pitches. Some have questionable wind turbines. For example, in China, a large shopping mall has over 25 villas on its roof. However, when the roof offers access to sunlight, there are only two obvious use i.e. solar power and green roof agriculture.

solar power system on a roof grid

The Green Cities

For more than a decade now, green roofs have been growing in popularity and in some cases, growing into new heights and size. For example, atop, which is a convention center located in Manhattan has the largest in the city, covering 89,000 m2. These roofs are usually comprised of planted beds, low vegetation, and carpet-like tiles. These green roofs can provide a habitat for insects and birds to what is considered a hostile environment. On the other hand, green roofs act as thermal insulation for the building, which does also reduce storm-water runoff.

At the same time, these green roofs offer an added benefit, which is; neutralizing the urban heat that is caused by something known as the island effect. This heat is caused by heat absorbing material like concrete and asphalt, which causes cities to increase in temperature by several degrees than the surrounding countryside. It is a known fact that trees and vegetation help cool the surrounding area and this is a study that is backed up with many scientific research.

According to research by the University of Georgia, they found out that green cities are cool cities. However, they noticed that a network of small urban green space is more effective at reducing a city’s temperature compared to a single park of equivalent size.

solar panel installation on a large barn roof

In some US and European cities, local councils are offering a significant financial incentive to developers who install green roofs. For example, in Hamburg, a building owner can receive subsidies of up to 60% of the roof’s installation cost. Starting from 2020, green roofs will be considered mandatory for all new large scale buildings in the city.

Are you overwhelmed by the challenges of marketing?

If you are, you should learn about the four basics of marketing, also known as the “Four P’s.” Familiarizing yourself with these concepts will help you put together a strong marketing campaign.

The Product

Marketing can’t exist unless you have a product or a service to promote. One of the most essential components of marketing is determining what your product is. Whether you’re marketing a physical item or an intangible service, you’ll want to make sure there is a demand for your product.

Any marketing campaign should be tailored to the product that you are selling. Before you start working on marketing strategies, you’ll have to figure out what your product is. Once you’ve decided on a product, you may want to conduct some research. Figure out who the target audience for this product is.

business notes

The Price

Once you know what your product is, you’ll have to set a price for the product. The price you select will have a major impact on your success. If the price is too high, you may lose out on a lot of business. If the price is too low, you might not be able to earn much of a profit.

If you’re struggling to set the right price, you should look at the pricing for similar products. Try to keep your prices in the same range as your competition. You should also consider the perceived value of the product. If your customers see your product as highly valuable, they’ll be willing to pay more for it.

The Place

In marketing, the term “place” refers to the distribution channels that your product will be sold through. Will you be selling your product at a brick and mortar store, or will your product primarily be sold online? These are the kins of questions you will have to answer.

You need to find a market that’s the right fit for the product you are selling. Make sure you choose a place that will appeal to your target audience. You should make it easy for people to find and purchase your product.

The Promotion

Once you know what you’re selling, what you’re charging, and where you’ll be selling your product, you can focus on the third principle: promotion. Launch your marketing campaign and work to raise awareness of your product.

These four principles are the backbone of marketing.

If you are planning on marketing a product, you owe it to yourself to master these principles.