9.  Solar Ready

This chapter of the nonresidential compliance manual addresses nonresidential solar ready buildings requirements. These requirements (§110.10 and §141.0) are mandatory for newly constructed nonresidential buildings, hotels/motels, high-rise multi-family buildings. They are also mandatory for additions where the total roof area is increased by at least 2,000 ft2.

Surveys of the existing building stock indicate that fewer than 30 percent of existing nonresidential buildings have suitable locations to install solar photovoltaic (PV) or solar water heating (SWH) systems. The intent of the solar ready building requirements is to integrate design considerations that impact the feasibility of installing solar energy systems into the original building design. The Energy Standards require buildings to have an allocated solar zone that is free of obstructions and is not shaded. The solar zone would be a suitable location to install PV or SWH collection panels. 'In 'addition, the Energy Standards require that the construction documents depict a plan for connecting a PV and SWH system to the building’s electrical or plumbing system. For areas of the roof designated as solar zone, the plans must also clearly indicate the structural design loads for roof dead load and roof live load.

There are no infrastructure related requirements in the Energy Standards. Equipment such as solar modules, inverters, and metering equipment do not need to be installed, nor does conduit, piping, or pre-installed mounting hardware. The building structural design does not need to be modified to accommodate the additional loads from solar equipment that might be installed at a future date.