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A showcase of case studies, 
products and tools for IPV

Supported by:

IEA PVPS Task 15 project aims to create an enabling framework to accelerate the penetration of BIPV products in the global market of renewables.

Operazione co-finanziata dall’Unione europea, Fondo Europeo di Sviluppo Regionale, dallo Stato Italiano, dalla Confederazione elvetica e dai Cantoni nell’ambito del Programma di Cooperazione Interreg V-A Italia-Svizzera

Le Albere district

new construction

Building use: 
IPV architectural system: 
shading device
IPV integration year: 
between 2011 and 2015
Eurac Research

Le Albere district

Via San Severino, Trento (TN), Italy



Aesthetic integration

Energy integration

Technology integration

Decision making

Lessons learnt


Producer and installer



Once the clients Castello SGR and Itas Assicurazioni bought the former Michelin area, they committed the general district design to Renzo Piano Building Workshop Srl (2002). Several stakeholders (designers, technicians, consultants, manufacturers) were involved within the district development. FAR Systems Srl was mainly responsible for the BIPV systems design and installation, working with Iure Srl for the project management. The works were concluded in 2013.


Main building designer: 

Arch. Renzo Piano (RPBW Architects) 

IPV system designer: 

FAR Systems Srl (closed)

IPV system installer: 

FAR Systems Srl (closed)


The new Le Albere district, built from restructuring a former industrial area in Trento, is primarily characterized by its innovative urban fabric. The district includes commercial, residential and office buildings. A large surface of photovoltaic modules is integrated into the buildings, representing one of the most important and unifying features of the entire project. With different buildings heights and inclinations, the district is harmoniously inserted within its surrounding mountain environment.

The residential and office structures are designed as ‘passive’ buildings and certified according to CasaClima standards. The building’s energy provision is guaranteed by systems which exploit different renewable energy sources. The BIPV plant is divided into 11 sub-plants, which are independently connected to the electricity grid. The PV production supplies part of the electrical energy demand of offices, common spaces, pump rooms and the basement areas lighting (e.g. staircases and the district park). A trigeneration plant and an autonomous geothermal system provide energy for heating and cooling of the whole district buildings.

The BIPV plants are made of different typologies of custom-made modules with a silver appearance. 4,160 glass-Tedlar modules are mounted on metal frames (a), which are made of two metal struts of rectangular section and three of hollow circular section. 985 glass-glass modules are anchored to the roofs metal sheets with special clamps and reinforced with a metal profile along the larger side (b). The mounting system consists of extremely lightweight extruded aluminium profiles. It is flexible thanks to the customized sliding mechanism that balances the component’s thermal expansions (FAR Systems Srl).

The project started with a partnership among public institutions, private companies and asset management companies. The project was conceived from the beginning as an educative instrument aimed towards the energy saving and an environmentally responsible management.

The ‘aesthetic’ integration is one of the main issues in this case study. It shows how a well-known architect (Renzo Piano) decided to use the PV modules to shape the buildings aesthetic, clearly declaring their presence and making them highly visible instead than hiding or camouflaging. The architects used the PV modules to express their architectural language, as a key element in the whole building composition. Regarding the BIPV system design, one of the main challenges was to customize the PV modules in order to satisfy the aesthetic requirements of the architects in terms of colours, dimensions, semi-transparency and materials as well as keeping costs in an acceptable range (FAR Systems Srl).


Project type: 
Architectural system: 
Shading device
Active material: 
Polycrystalline silicon
Module transparency: 
System power [kWp]: 
System area [m²]: 
Module dimensions [mm]: 
1,600 x 400, 1,045 x 400
Modules orientation: 
South, West, East
Modules tilt [°]: 
5 , 7.5 , 15 , 12
Total cost [€]: 
IPV system installer: 

FAR Systems Srl (closed)

Via San Severino, Trento (TN), Italy

Eurac Research