Design of optimal building envelopes with integrated photovoltaics

Amr M. A Youssef, Zhiqiang John Zhai, Rabee Reffat

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) receives growing attentions due to both architectural and engineering favorability. Large commercial building envelopes present a great potential of utilizing solar radiation, especially in climate zones with rich solar resources. Most current studies have been focused on predicting and optimizing power generation of BIPV on designed envelope systems, which leaves limited room for performance improvement of BIPV. This study introduces a framework of an optimization method that formulates the best building envelope shapes and the most matching BIPV systems. A set of criteria are established to determine the best alternatives of envelope variations, upon which the power generation and economic impact of different BIPV systems are evaluated and compared. The proposed optimization process was demonstrated using a general commercial building design application in Egypt. The developed tool can help designers in achieving an optimized building envelope that is most suitable for PV integration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-366
JournalBuilding Simulation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • building integrated photovoltaics
  • optimal building envelope
  • power generation
  • economic analysis


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