- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 30 Oct 2020
Installation of photovoltaic panels on existing flat roofs - some lessons learned IP 8 14
Installation of photovoltaic panels on existing flat roofs - some lessons learned (IP 8/14) was written by Roger Sadgrove and Steve Pester and published by BRE on 10 July 2014. BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.
In the UK, most of the photovoltaic (PV) installations on existing buildings are installed on roofs. Although roof mounting of PV systems can create access and load-bearing issues, a roof mounted system is likely to be secure from vandalism and less likely to be overshadowed than one sited at ground level.
Apart from establishing whether equipment and materials can be delivered safely to the roof area in question, electrical safety and performance, and security of the mechanical support system must be considered at all stages.
This 8-page information paper is intended to help make clients and consultants aware of issues involved in the installation of PV systems on traditional asphalt flat roofs of existing buildings. It sets out insights gained in carrying out the whole process from planning through to commissioning, operation and maintenance.
Its contents are:
- Installing PV systems on existing roofs.
- Securing a PV system to an asphalt roof.
- Load calculations and wind forces.
- Access limitations.
- Working at height considerations.
- Inadvertent shadowing.
- The need for a comprehensive method statement.
- Monitoring of post-installation performance.
- Government policy.
- The BRE PV installation project.
- Specification considerations.
- Assessing the robustness of the roof.
- Assessing the roof construction.
- Operational considerations.
- Working at height procedures.
- References and notes.
- Further reading.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Battery energy storage systems with grid-connected solar photovoltaics BR 514.
- BRE articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE Buzz articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE National Solar Centre.
- BRE photovoltaic certification scheme.
- BREEAM Responsible sourcing of materials.
- Building Research Establishment.
- Code of practice for grid connected solar photovoltaic systems.
- DC isolators for photovoltaic systems (FB 68).
- Flexible Solar Panels.
- Renewable energy sources: how they work and what they deliver: Part 4: Solar thermal hot water systems DG 532 4.
- Solar thermal systems.
Featured articles and news
From inns and coaching houses to boutiques.
Survey reveals green skills gap.
America's economic collapse produced scores of PWA Moderne projects.
The benefits of glowing aggregates and cement.
Urgent need for open communication to address mental health issues.
Guidance offered on COVID-19 green recovery, building safety and more.
Providing strength and support above the joists.
Enforcer will test and investigate product safety.
Underfloor air conditioning comes to 24 St James's Square.
Consultation on public right to buy unused public property.
IHBC resource offers improved consistency.
New laws to ‘retain and explain’ historic statues.