Florida Architects: To solar or not to solar?

Sustainable Florida Beach house under construction by Macco Architects

Sustainable Florida Beach house under construction by Macco Architects

Every Florida Architect in the last ten years has encountered a scenario that plays out something like this:

In one of the initial meetings with a client, the subject of incorporating solar panels into their project inevitably surfaces.  The Architect gets excited because they realize they have a client that is environmentally aware, forward thinking and looking to create a sustainable solution to their particular project.  As the design process unfolds, the notion of the solar panels become fainter, until the drawings are issued for construction and the client is caught in a whirlwind of decision making and distractions. Other issues take the front burner in the mind of the client, and the solar idea seems to be put to the back burner.

Enter the moment when the solar panel discussion re surfaces.  A mad dash is made to find a subcontractor that can do the entire package, wire the project, supply and install the panels, figure out the tax credits and make it all work.  This is where it all seems to fall apart.  Finding a reliable “one stop shop” for this demand was nearly impossible in the past.  The dreams of a net zero energy project soon start to fade until the idea is scrapped all together.

This scenario has played out repeatedly for Florida architects and their clients for the last ten years.  Clients want it, but all of the moving parts that have to come together to specify it are difficult to have come to fruition.

Until recently.

Within the last year or so, the market has caught up with the louder and louder drum beat of the consumer to demand solar systems for their projects.  The one stop shop notion of the solar supplier, installer, tax credit assessor, energy consultant rolled into one has finally arrived.  Americans want American made solar panels installed or nothing at all. It is exciting to see the market finally catch up with the demands, by making the specifying of this technology efficient and painless for both the Architect and the client.

To solar or not to solar?  It’s time for everyone to “solar”.  Particularly in the sunshine state, it could not be easier.  Go for it!