The EPFL is the coordinator of the Be-Smart project

The EPFL becomes the coordinator of the European Be-Smart project, which aims to accelerate the integration of photovoltaic systems during the construction and renovation of buildings, reducing its costs by 75% between now and 2030.

The photovoltaic panels covering this facade were made by Solaxess (Neuchâtel) using CSEM technology. | Copyright Solaxess

Through the EPFL and the CSEM in Neuchâtel, the Be-Smart project brings together 15 partners, research institutes, innovative companies, architects and construction companies.

"The use of photovoltaics on facades and in the construction industry is growing rapidly, thanks in part to the technological pioneering role of these two Swiss partners," explains Laure-Emmanuelle Perret-Aebi, project coordinator at the EPFL's Laboratory for Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics (PV-Lab). "But access to this technology must be made more accessible so that it can find its place beyond major landmark projects. »

To develop and promote this technology (BIPV, Building Integrated Photovoltaics), the participants of the European Be-Smart project will have to propose multifunctional elements, performing the roles of building materials - insulating, anti-noise and esthetically pleasing - and of energy generators. They will also work on implementing a working methodology for architects and construction companies, which will drastically reduce costs.

Powering the future

According to the project's stakeholders, the massive adoption of this technology on facades and roofs could make it possible to produce an amount of electricity almost equivalent to that currently consumed in Switzerland. "There is no longer any reason not to integrate photovoltaic modules in new buildings, it must become standard practice," explains Christophe Ballif, Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the EPFL's Engineering Department, head of the EPFL PV-Lab and director of the CSEM PV-center.

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