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Category: Photovoltaic Curtainwall

Net Zero Envelope TM

The latest issue of Glass Magazine highlighted one of BISEM’s mid-rise retrofit projects. Turner Construction used our Net Zero Envelope to create a beautiful, energy efficient new facade for an aging, leaking; building that looked like something out of Stalin’s Russian. The system used high performance Low E Glass by Guardian Industries and ACM Panels to create a beautiful collage of colors and geometric designs. The flexible grid and cassette system allows for simple removal of any panel on the wall. It also accommodates Electrochromic Glass and Photovoltaic Panels into a pre-wired BIPV Curtain Wall system.

 Please take a look at the article: Glass Magazine

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 783

BIPV and the Glass Industry

There was an article today in Glass Magazine that talks about BIPV and the glazing industry. See the LINK. The glass business moves slowly, and the idea of electrifying curtain walls, is a little too scary for most glaziers. The only way to make Net Zero Envelopes a viable option is to educate the architectural community, and give glaziers tools or systems to make the process simple.

I am presenting a PV Curtain Wall seminar the the NGA’s Glass Build America show in Las Vegas on September 14th (Solar Power Symposium). There will be four hours of product description, industry standards, and the trends established by some of the largest manufacturers in the US. I hope you can make it. I will show you how to make it simple!

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 626

SMUD & BISEM-USA complete first ever PV Curtain Wall Retrofit project in USA

Net Zero Envelope - BISEM-USA Curtain Wall Retrofit at SMUD Headquarters

BISEM-USA just completed the first ever BIPV Curtain Wall Retrofit (LINK to full article) in the United States. This sustainable installation was completed in partnership with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) architectural teams. The UL Approved System is a tested waterproof integration of energy generating photovoltaic panels into a proprietary screen wall, that can be installed onto ANY vertical curtain wall in North America. The installation is very cost effective, and competitively priced with rooftop PV.

There are 338,000 office buildings in the US that account for more than $1.2 billion square feet of vertical wall area. This innovative Net Zero Envelope™ solution makes that existing building stock available to produce energy. As developers recognize the ROI (return on investment) of energy efficient retrofits, existing vertical walls are a logical place to capture the energy of the sun to augment the electrical supply of the building.

There is a revolution happening in the building products industry. Super efficient scientific discoveries are be transformed from lab tested ideas, to cost effective mass produced products. An example is Guardian Industries with their unique mix of technical research ability, and decades of price sensitive manufacturing. BISEM is teamed up with corporate giants like Guardian, to provide expertise in system design, installation procedures, and product testing.

Johnson Controls Inc. is using BISEM-USA’s  system to add energy production to buildings that, until now were unable to generate electricity on site. The PACE program, administered by Ygrene and supported by the Carbon War Room supplies funding for cost effective retrofits of old, inefficient buildings. The money saved from lower energy bills, is used to pay for the cost of the building retrofits!

We are on the path to Net Zero Energy buildings. Join us!

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 762

GSA’s Commitment to Net Zero Energy

AIA 2012  Net Zero Envelope Solution

AIA 2012 Net Zero Envelope Solution

I attended the AIA National Convention in Washington DC this year with my new Net Zero Envelope partners, Guardian Industries, Pythagoras Solar, and Soladigm. Take a look at the video: BISEM-USA AIA 2012. We are building the walls of the future now, and the first implementations are happening for the General Service Administration or GSA.

While I was at AIA 2012, I listened to Dirk Meyer (National Advisor Building Enclosures) for GSA give a 6:30 AM presentation on exterior enclosures. I am a certified curtain wall geek, so I was up at 5:30 to make sure I heard every word of his presentation. The Federal Government is leading the way in exterior envelope efficiency, and Dirk provided insight as to their goals and direction. GSA now requires Performance Based Contracts for Deep Energy Retrofits. The government wants to build 100 year buildings that live up to their Design Excellence Program. GSA does not design its own projects, they rely on the architectural community and building systems experts, like BISEM-USA to provide 100% of the design and specifications to meet the ‘Dignity, Enterprise, Vigor, & Stability’ of America’s buildings.

The buildings of the future will provide opportunities for behavior changes through building controls that are tuned to the occupant’s needs and requirements. The exterior envelope is a critical piece of this puzzle.

I am excited about the challenge, and our cost effective Net Zero Envelope solutions ready to meet it!


Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 659

BISEM Net Zero Curtain Walls at AIA:


PV Curtain Wall

Energy Efficient Curtain Wall

BISEM-USA is at the 2012 Washington DC AIA Conference this year, and what is of great interest to us is the development of market leaders defining a new way to create sustainable buildings.

Guardian Glass announced two major collaborations in the last quarter. The addition of Pythagoras Solar a transparent photovoltaic insulated glass, and Soladigm, a leader in electrochomic glass technology. These two additions to the Guardians energy efficient SunGuard products will redefine the way curtainwall systems are designed in the US. The glass industry is changing at a rapid pace in Europe and in the United States. As energy efficiency is recognized as a profit center for owners, Net Zero Energy Buildings will become the standard for building. Companies like Guardian Industries are on the cutting edge of technology. They are a basic material supplier to the construction industry, and when they move, the whole construction industry should take notice. Super energy efficient systems are redefining construction methods. Just as information technology redefined communication over the last two decades, innovation in building technology is making a dramatic impact on the built environment.

PV Curtain Walls that generate electricity while allowing day lighting in a building, and the ability to tune the exterior solar heat gain coefficient is set to revolutionize the way we build walls, just like microprocessors revolutionized the computer. BISEM-USA is poised to take advantage of this growing market with its electrified, UL Approved, cost effective BIPV Curtain Walls. These systems are going to change the world. If you are ready, come join us!!

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall 721

Net Zero Envelope Imagined:

Guardian Net Zero Envelope Solution

Guardian Adds BISEM-USA to thier Advanced Glazing Technology group

I was at the Guardian Industries STC (Science & Technology Center) last week. This is an elite group of 125 scientists that are devoted to developing the most energy efficient glazing products in the world. Hundreds of pieces of equipment, used to test ideas for improving Solar Heat Gain Coefficients, U-Values, Sound Transmittance, and energy generation in transparent envelopes. They monitor twenty nine glass manufacturing facilities across the globe to insure the highest levels of quality.

I was there, as a representative of BISEM-USA to work on Guardian’s Glaziers Advantage program. The program introduces Guardian’s quality control, and vast array of energy efficient products to key glazing installers around the United States.

Guardian manufactures a vast array of glass products, with high performance coatings. Their highly efficient glass is the key component architects use to design beautiful transparent curtain walls, and at the same time, keep up with energy efficient requirements of modern buildings. The next generation of Advanced Glazing Technology, includes Electrochromic Glass and PVGU (Photovoltaic Glass Units).

Their first channel partner in this new world of Net Zero Envelopes was Pythagoras Solar. Pythagoras has a proprietary transparent photovoltaic panel that is encapsulated into an insulating glass unit…or PVGU! The second channel partner is Soladigm Glass. They manufacture an electrochromic glass product that can tune its SHGC and transparency to match the requirements of a building. Both systems require electrification of the curtainwall. BISEM-USA was chosen as the third channel partner to integrate Low E glass, Pythagoras PVGU, and Soladigm’s electrochromic glass into electrified curtain walls.

BISEM-USA started working on photovoltaic curtain wall solutions in 2007. In 2009, we received UL Approval of our electrified walls. Now, in 2012, we are part of a group of globally significant partners that plan to change the way architects and owners think of the exterior envelope. Together we will define the Net Zero Envelope.

Posted 5 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 2,327

Beter “Building the Economy Through Energy Retrofits”

The ability for the State of California to drive progress for Net Zero Energy Buildings in the US is a historic event. California will lead the nation in design, manufacturing and building super energy efficient properties. This legislation will dramatically influence that see change in the building trades.
My company BISEM Inc designs, engineers, and manufacturers photovoltaic curtain walls for large commercial construction projects, so I closely follow the growth of the BIPV market. As the State and Nation move to reduce their carbon footprint, innovative firms will find phenomenal growth possibilities for domestic manufacturing. I have already seen a dramatic increase in sales, and interest from international architectural firms. Thank you Senator de León and Assembly Person Skinner, your legislation will accelerate the process.

Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall 661

Global BIPV Market for Curtain Wall

BISEM Curtain Wall

BISEM Curtain Wall at Sacramento International Airport-www.BISEM-USA.com

Today the Sacramento Bee reported that the BIPV market will reach $6.4 billion (USD) by mid-decade. We were mentioned in the report as the national leader in photovoltaic curtain wall systems. Check out the article Sac Bee BIPV.

The report estimates that global appetite for BIPV Curtain Wall will grow dramatically through 2020, when the EU will require all new construction to be Net Zero Energy Buildings. Our systems are design to meet that need, and we are excited to be part of this growing trend in America. BISEM has Net Zero Energy Curtain Walls that can make a big difference in the overall sustainable solution for buidling design.

We manufacture cost effective, simple to install solutions that separate us from the rest of the Global Market. Our systems continuously improve through diligent product design and manufacturing excellence.

Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall 824

PV Curtain Walls for Net Zero Buildings


PV Rainscreen in Sacramento, California www.BISEM-USA.com

I just read an article about BIPV products, in BuildGreen.com.  A noted expert commented that the US is not ready for BIPV. Well he is wrong, and there are a lot of people who believe that NOW is the time for a true see change in the way buildings are designed. If standard size photovoltaic panels are used in a BIPV Curtain Wall, a private developer can achieve a 24 month, 100% payback of the photovoltaic premium.

Then, the energy production is free for the next 23 years! I know your local utility will never give you that deal.

Energy prices will rise over the next twenty years, just look at the cost of gasoline. There are very cost effective solutions for introduction of photovoltaic’s into building envelopes. This is one of the first steps in creating a Net Zero Energy Building community.

BISEM Inc has solutions that allow simple integration of photovoltaic panels into any new or existing building for a very reasonable price.

Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 230

PV-Photovoltaic-Curtain-Wall Zero-Energy-Building-Solution


PV Photovoltaic Curtain Wall www.BISEM-USA.com

PV Dry Screen www.BISEM-USA.com










BISEM Inc has a cost effective solution to help you achieve a Net Zero Energy Building

1.   RETURN ON INVESTMENT: The spread sheet below defines the Federal Tax credits that are available with any of the Focus Materials BiPV Systems. They are as follows:

  • The BiPV Federal Tax Credit which allows a 30% direct tax credit in the first year after installation. President Bush signed this into law in 2003, and President Obama again signed the bill and extended it until 2017.
  • The second tax advantage is the MACRS accelerate depreciation. This reduces full depreciation time from 39 years to 5 years.
  • Every city in the US has local utility subsidies that differ per municipality. I have included the rebate offered by SMUD of Sacramento in June of 2011.
  • Energy production for 25 years.
      100% Payback in 28 Months        
Assumption: Five story office building with 40,000 square feet of curtain wall
Assumption: South elevation of the curtain wall is 10,000 square feet
        Square Feet $/sf Cost  
Standard Curtain  Wall:   10,000  $ 100  $ 1,000,000  
BiPV Curtain Wall Premium: 10,000  $ 100  $ 1,000,000  
Total Taxable BiPV:        $ 2,000,000  
Federal Tax Credit 30% of total BiPV in First Year                       
     $     576,000  
MACRS Depreciation Year One:      $     147,533  
SMUD – Sacramento’s Utility Rebate:    $       85,000  
MACRS Depreciation Federal/State Year Two:  $     147,533  
MACRS Depreciation Federal/State Year Three:  $     147,533 110%
MACRS Depreciation Federal/State Year Four:  $     147,533 15%
MACRS Depreciation Federal/State Year Five:  $     147,533 15%
Energy Production for 37kW:     $20,000 Yr+/-


2. EASY, TURNKEY, POWER-PRODUCING WALL FOR YOUR BUILDING: BISEM’s power-producing wall is a complete solution for mid-rise and high-rise projects. The solution brings together four, usually separate, trades. These are: DC Electrical, AC Electrical, Curtain Wall, and Waterproofing.

  • The DC & Photovoltaic Design calculates system size and determines PV module selection, DC wiring, UL Rated harnesses, inverter size, lifecycle replacement, and the monitoring solution for the project.
  • All AC Electrical Coordination and integration from start to finish. BISEM designed and developed a shop installed, UL  Approved wiring harness, which reduces field labor by 85%.
  • Curtain Wall Design and Installation is the skill set that sets BISEM’s apart. We have 25 years of experience with large curtain wall projects. The U-Value, Shading Coefficients and AAMA water testing procedures are all included in our turnkey, multi-trade solution.
  • Waterproofing  is the final piece of manufacturing and installation of the building’s exterior skin. The systems are water tight and we have 25 years of experience in keeping building dry.


3. ZERO ENERGY BUILDING SOLUTION: These products were designed to fulfill a portion of the energy production that is required to achieve a ZEB (Zero Energy Building). We took our passion for sustainability and created our own ZEB manufacturing facility. Using our experience of building a ZEB, and our extensive knowledge of exterior envelope design, we leveraged the lessons learned to create BISEM product line. To have a successful ZEB, developers and architects must design to reduce energy usage, figure energy needs, and finally add energy production. BISEM provides a key piece to the ZEB puzzle.

4. COMPATIBLE WITH FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES: The BISEM Wall flexible aluminum chassis was designed to incorporate utility grade PV panels, but it can easily swap the installed panels for the newest technology innovations. With our system, innovations in technology can be updated into your wall, at any time.

  • Examples of recent product improvements are: the elimination of field installed conduit with innovative parallel wiring, incorporation of thin film technology, use of Sage Electrochromic Glass, Pythagoras Solar Technology, and Dow Corning’s R40 VIP (Vacuum Insulated Panel).
  • Examples of ongoing research and development include: hot water generation from the exterior envelope, captured warm air from exterior envelope, LED lights powered by PV on sunscreens, day-lighting technology, building controls for smart envelopes, smart windows, smart sunshades, smart glass, and DC office lighting solutions to eliminate the use of inverters and computer DC power supplies.


5. UTILITY GRADE RELIABILITY is the basis of all of our design. This standard allows BISEM to provide surprisingly cost effective solutions with extremely high performance.

 6. FLEXIBLE OPTIONS are always available, but remember, with color and transparency comes increased cost and decreased performance.


Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 96