A Conceptual Framework for a Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) Educative-Communication Approach



Global interest in Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) has grown following forecasts of a compound annual growth rate of 18.7% and a total of 5.4 GW installed worldwide from 2013 to 2019. Although the BIPV technology has been in the public domain for the last three decades, its adoption has been hindered. Existing literature asserts that proper information and education at the proposal or early design stage is an important way of addressing adoption barriers. However, there is a lack of BIPV communication approaches for research, and market proposals that focus on clear information about its benefits. This has limited the adoption of BIPV.. Based on this, the present study aims to develop a conceptual framework for an educative-communication approach for presenting BIPV proposals to encourage its adoption. This is aimed at developing holistic research and market proposals which justify scholarly investigation and financial investment. Using a multiple case study investigation and Design Research Methodology (DRM) principles, the study developed an approach which combines core communication requirements, the pillars of sustainability and a hierarchical description of BIPV alongside its unique advantages. A two-step evaluation strategy involving an online pilot survey and a literature-based checklist, was used to validate the effectiveness of the developed approach. Our results show that understanding environmental and economic benefits was found to be significantly important to people who are likely adopters of BIPV (p < 0.05), making these benefits crucial drivers of adoption. Statistical significance was also found between those who do not know the benefits of using solar energy for electricity, and interest in knowing these benefits (p < 0.05). We thus conclude that proper communication of these benefits can safely be advanced as important facilitators of BIPV adoption. In general, this study elaborates the need and strategies for appropriate dissemination of innovative ideas to encourage and promote adoption of technological advancement for a sustainable global future.

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More information: Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3781; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103781

Journal reference: Sustainability 2018

Provided by:  © 1996-2018 MDPI (Basel, Switzerland) unless otherwise stated

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