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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 97

Zero Energy Building ZEB Products: Photovoltaic PV Curtain Wall Retrofit




The BISEM PV Curtain Wall Retrofit System is the only product in the United States that is AAMA 502C and UL-Approved to retrofit existing curtain wall systems. The Retrofit System offers a simple, waterproof, cost effective BiPV solution.

The Retrofit System is engineered to anchor directly to all standard pressure plate curtain wall systems. We have tested the Retrofit System to the following curtain wall systems: Kawneer 1600 Wall, Vistawall CW250 Wall (or Relance Wall), US Aluminum 3200 Wall, YKK YCW-750 XTWall.

The select Retrofit System allows any licensed glazier to install photovoltaic panels directly onto the face of an existing curtail wall system. The lead time for materials and design is 6-8 weeks. The price is comparable to rooftop rooftop solar panel systems

BISEM-PV-Curtain-Wall-Retrofit-Thin Film-www.BISEM-USA.com













Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Products 90

Zero Energy Building ZEB Products: Photovoltaic PV Sunscreen

BISEM Inc PV Sunscreen

BISEM Inc PV Sunscreen

BISEM Inc PV Sunscreen

BISEM PV Sunscreen

BISEM Inc PV Sunscreen

BISEM Inc PV Sunscreen

BISEM Inc Poly Crystalline Sunscreen

BISEM Inc Poly Crystalline Sunscreen

… Photovoltaic Sunscreen is an economical, pre-engineered sun shade that can be installed with the BiPV curtain wall or with any manufacturer’s pressure plate curtain wall. This is a perfect product to help generate energy if your goal is a Net Zero Energy Building.

  • The BiPV Sunscreen can also be installed as a stand-alone sunscreen onto any wall substrate.
  • Our Engineer’s were tasked to use standard curtain wall installation practices and devise a system that could be easily installed by any qualified glazier in the United States.
  • Clear instructions for mechanical and electrical installation are included with this versatile product.
Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Products, Sustainable 1,580

Zero Energy Building ZEB Products: Photovoltaic PV Dry Screen



Photovoltaic-PV-Curtain-Wall-Dry Screen-Horizontal-www.BISEM-USA.com










This is a perfect product to add to the side of any existing or new construction project.

Our creative modular grid design allows for exceptional architectural tolerances and very simple, cost effective installations. An existing concrete wall can be made beautiful and generage electricity.

The gasketed Dry Screen facade system controls rain penetration, maintains ventilation, and provides thermal insulation.

The system is compatible with all composite metal panels and will fully integrated glass and resin panels on he same plane or multiple planes as desired.

  1. This versatile system will accept any UL Rated photovoltaic panel, any aluminum composite panel, plate panel, resin panels, or 1/4″ glass as an infill. The pre-assembled grid system allows for fast, cost effective installations.
  2. The system is presure equalized and is tested to AAMA performace levels of 8lb/sf.
  3. The product is Made in the USA, and has short lead times.
Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Products 45

Zero Energy Curtain Wall: Photovoltaic PV Curtain Wall








BISEM from FocusMaterials generates electricity, ensures world class energy efficiency, and provides exceptional versatility at a surprisingly affordable price.

Our engineers were tasked to develop a system that performed to European standards for energy efficiencey and use American building standards for constructability. The result is a waterproof wall that produces electricity at a competitive price.

The system is easily installed by any qualified glazier in the United States. Clear instructions for structural, waterproof, as well as electrical installation are part of the “Multi-Trade Solution” with this remarkable product.

  1. The system is very versatile. It will accept any photovoltaic panel to generate electricity, and accomodate a 2 1/2″ insulated unit to achieve a U-Value of 0.18.
  2. The UL Approved wiring harness allows for simple cost effective installation and since it is manufactured in the US, the lead times are short.
  3. All systems are tested to AAMA standards and have excellent water and air penetration protection.
Posted 6 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Products, Sustainable 766

BISEM’s BiPV Curtain Wall Presentation

Photovoltaic Curtain Wall Presentation for Los Angeles AIA

Please take a look, and share this with your friends in the construction industry!

Posted 7 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall 52

BiPV – BISEM’s Photovoltaic Curtainwall

Mark Borsuk, the developer of the “Energy Harvester” project in Oakland, CA, has the right idea. He plans to build a high-rise residence that meets the highest standards of sustainability and offers a wonderful place for people to live.
His firm’s approach, from the beginning of design, was to create a low energy solution to high density living. Beginning with this initial concept, thoughtful early planning and the relentless pursuit of cutting-edge clean technology, Borsuk will create a building that will be less expensive than conventional buildings.
One example of the cost savings happened during design of the exterior envelope. Installation of a conventional curtain wall is necessary for the prestige of a landmark project. When the curtain wall is upgraded to a cutting-edge photovoltaic technology, the beautiful exterior skin will generate electricity and save over one-million dollars in construction costs. The project qualifies for Federal Tax Incentives that will pay for the photovoltaic portion of the wall in less than twenty-four months. After this initial savings, the walls of the building will generate FREE electricity for decades into the future!
How do we create a Net Zero Nation? Follow the lead of inventive developers and architects like Gensler and Mark Borsuk, and our energy needs will become self-sustaining.

Posted 7 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 21

How can a Photovoltaic Curtain Wall help with Net Zero Energy Buildings?

Photovoltaic Integrated Curtainwall from Focus Materials

Building Integrated-Photovoltaic-BIPV-Curtainwall www.BISEM-USA.com

Publicity, innovation, government intervention…all of these pieces will help us get to Net Zero, but the only true way to achieve our goal of Net Zero Buildings, is for the architectural community to specify a whole system approach to the energy design of a building.
An example is the complete exterior envelope solution that BISEM Inc provides with its family of products. BiPV Curtain Wall, BiPV Dry Screen, BiPV Retrofit, and BiPV Sunscreens can be mixed and matched to develop a complete exterior skin solution that will harvest electricity from the vertical wall of a building. In order to achieve Net Zero, there must be a multi-disciplinary approach. If a system is defined early in the design process, the actual cost of implementation can be very affordable. The perceived high cost of sustainability is based on last minute “Greening” of a building. When the systems are well thought out, the actual costs for the sustainable building can be less.
The exterior skin is a great example of this. A large South facing curtain wall can be done for less if you incorporate the latest photovoltaic technology into conventional envelope technology. The Federal Tax Credits, and MACRS accelerated depreciation will pay for 80% of the cost in the first year, and the remaining 20% of the cost in the second year. After that, the savings multiply due to the energy production of the façade!
There are solutions out there…designers need to do their homework and integrate these solution into their creations.

Posted 7 years ago by admin in BiPV Curtain Wall, Net Zero Energy Design, Photovoltaic Curtainwall, Sustainable 74

Oregon Sustainability Center:

Something amazing is happening in Portland Oregon! SERA Architects, and Skanska Construction are designing a project that will be the first of its kind in the World. The Center will achieve triple net-zero performance in energy, water and wastewater management. It is designed to pursue the world’s most stringent green building criteria, the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge™. This sort of innovation will define Portland as a center for sustainable building in the United States. The construction economy is about to start pumping again and the companies that are poised to take advantage of the latest building technology will prosper.
I am so excited to see such a well organized municipality! Forward thinking design will make their city thrive in the future. Please take a look at the web site: http://www.oregonsustainabilitycenter.org/
This building will be the most energy efficient high-rise ever built.

Posted 7 years ago by admin in Net Zero Energy Design 38