John Howard: Wants new buildings to have ‘solar ready roofs’

Monday, August 14, 2017

We need to reduce Greenhouse gasses produced while making electricity. Photovoltaic solar is part of our answer to this climate change problem. PV on buildings is relatively simple when planned and impossible when not considered.

New zoning should require all new buildings to have a “solar ready roof” — that is, built so that half of the roof is unobstructed (no jogs, dormers, chimney, pipes, etc.), facing within a few degrees of solar south and structurally capable of supporting solar panels.

The cost would be minimal, a couple extra inches in the roof rafters. House orientation is the main benefit. It is impossible to turn a structure ninety degrees later. Massachusetts is considering the issue with House Bill H.3390. A web search of “solar ready roof” will return very complete thoughts from AIA, NREL and DOE.

There was a time when one could build a house with no toilet requirement. We didn’t care where our waste went. Now we need to care about our carbon and toxic waste.

John Howard

South Hadley