Solar Ready New Construction

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Solar Ready New Construction Checklist

The Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance wants to make new construction solar ready. More and more, people are turning to solar power for their energy needs, and this trend is expected to continue as the cost of “going solar” declines. Developers, residential home builders and architects can help prepare for the growing demand for solar by designing buildings with future solar installations in mind while also marketing to the growing niche of home buyers who want to install solar.

"Solar panels on house roof" by Gray Watson User:E090 - Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

Solar panels on house roof” by Gray Watson Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons 


The voluntary Solar Ready New Construction Checklist provides one simple page of guidelines to assist in creating design which prepares a newly constructed home for future solar installation. These guidelines include best practices for solar-ready building design to minimize the costs of future solar installation while maximizing potential system efficiency and apply to site selection, building design, and building construction. It is organized with components of designing for solar access, electrical specification, and structural specifications. The guidelines don’t relate to installing solar into an existing structure, but will assist smart growth developers in creating residential developments which can easily have solar added to them, with minimal additional costs by the eventual homeowner.

These guidelines were created in partnership with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and Delaware County Planning Department. Through this partnership DVSGA was able to get technical expertise through the Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative Solar Ready II program to insure that the recommendations will produce a home more viable for solar photovoltaic installation. For more information on the background behind these guidelines, please consult the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Solar Ready Buildings Planning Guide and DVRPC’s Solar Ready II webpage.

Download the Solar Ready New Construction Checklist.