Our homes are ready for (or have!) a solar PV array
Solar Photovoltaic Panels
In the District of Columbia, the typical renewable energy source is grid tied solar PV. The District has a robust incentive program for owners making it compelling for homeowners to install it.
Net zero energy is always a goal
As a sustainable developer, we are always looking to make our projects net zero energy. In fact, we have built DC’s first gut renovation net zero home!
We model all our buildings for the eventual installation of solar panels to see if net zero is achievable. Given we do gut rehab projects, the size and orientation of our roofs are fixed. Many times the roof space is not large enough, or the orientation is not right, or it’s shady and even with a super high performance building envelope, it is impossible to achieve net zero energy. However, we always try to maximize the possibilities we do have.
Do we install solar on all our projects?
We’d love to, but no, we don’t install solar on all our projects. While the incentives available are good for home owners, many are not applicable to developers. When the incentives align, we install solar. However, many times they just do not.
Making solar installation easier and cheaper for homeowners.
Our buildings have been modeled, designed and built for solar. In fact, several of our buildings are all electric so net zero or near net zero operation of our homes is within reach if the solar were installed.
While we don’t put it on, we strongly encourage our buyers to install solar because the incentives make it very compelling for them...and several have!
To entice installation, we do a number of things that make installation of solar easier and less costly for homeowner including:
In our gut renovation projects we estimate how large a system the roof can hold and model it to see if the project can be net zero or near net zero. Most of our projects model at near net zero with solar!
In our new construction projects we design roofs with enough structural support to bear the weight of panels.
In gut renovation projects we fix broken and cracked beams and resupport roofs to prepare them for solar.
We install extra conduit from the panel to the roof for easy wiring for the eventual installation of solar. This preparation makes it easier and cheaper for owners for owners to install it.
We leave unused breakers in the electrical panel for the eventual installation of solar.
We push all roof penetrations for HVAC and plumbing to the sides of a roof, leaving clear space for solar panels