Mitrex, a Toronto-based manufacturer of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) technology, has announced a significant project at St. Mary's University (SMU) in Halifax, NS, where Mitrex will transform the student residence at the university with an integrated solar facade platform, marking the tallest, largest BIPV micro-grid application in North America.
The work will be done by DSRA Architects, Dillon Consulting and BMR Structural Engineering, with construction overseen by the EllisDon Corporation and Markland Construction. Awarding the contract to Mitrex will allow SMU to take a big step toward reducing the structure's carbon emissions with seamless solar energy generation, the company asserts.
The deployed integrated solar facade platform represents a decentralized energy source which supplies electricity that synchronously operates and connects to the traditional grid, with the unique ability to disconnect from the grid and function autonomously. The ability for SMU's student residence and all our structures to go in, as Mitrex puts it, "island mode," fosters resilience to changes dictated by technical or economic conditions.
Mitrex specializes in developing and manufacturing solar integrated building materials such as facades, roofs, railings, windows, etc. Ultimately, Mitrex aims for a future where every sun-touched surface generates energy with visually appealing solar products. The SMU project aligns with this vision by revamping the existing structure with an energy-generating building envelope.
To be completed in early 2023, the retrofit on the SMU south facade will consist of over 6,000 SF of solar cladding, accented by vertical, semi-opaque solar glass integrated into the windows. The design of the cladding panels will be a delicate combination of school colors with a subtle reveal of solar technology – a perfect blend of traditional and modern elements, contends Mitrex.
"Projects like the SMU retrofit with other like-minded establishments can effectively showcase the vast opportunities offered by new technologies in the building and construction sector," says Mitrex CEO Danial Hadizadeh. "The building community needs to think of micro-grids as a must and not an option and rethink their contributions to carbon emissions on every level from carbon used to make the products to powering the structure post-construction. Integrated solar energy is the future—it has already started to replace outdated solutions that only add to global warming."