Solar Photovoltaic


2017 | Agriculture and Forestry Building Atrium

The Agriculture and Forestry Building atrium is made with energy efficient glass panes that limit heat exchange and are embedded with translucent photovoltaic panels which generate power for the building. Locally manufactured Douglas fir beams frame the glass panels, forming the shape of a mineral crystal. This space fosters student and staff engagement and is even available for private events.

Environmental Impact

  • 7.5–8 tonnes of CO2 emissions will be prevented from entering the atmosphere annually.
  • Contributes to UAlberta's target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Innovation & Technology

  • Solar photovoltaic panels gather sunlight and convert it into electricity.
  • The solar photovoltaic system is rated for 10 kW of electricity production, which is used to provide some of the building's power needs.
  • The panels are placed strategically to balance producing energy and letting sunlight through to provide heat and natural light to the space, even during the snowy season.

Estimated Savings

  • $1,000 per year in energy cost savings
  • Cost for the installation of the photovoltaic system was mostly avoided as the glass on the old atrium was scheduled to be replaced.