- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 30 Sep 2018
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).
- 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
Chancellor announces latest Winter Support packages.
Tapping technology to boost infrastructure and create jobs.
4 ways to ensure certificates are valid.
White elephant construction projects.
How Paul Williams bent over backwards to overcome racial barriers.
Organisation revises actions around dealing with COVID-19.
CIOB, NFCC, RIBA, RICS call for changes ahead of Building Safety Bill.
Developments in the Future Homes Standard.
An American chimney feature with a colourful past.
Homes based on need, not ability to pay.
Historic England adds 216 entries to the 'at risk' register.
Will cycling and walking provisions be preserved?
Assembly point levels range from relative to ultimate.
Signs are pointing to a recovery for the construction industry.