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Asbestos roofs must be renovated before PV installation

Asbestos roof renovation with photovoltaics

From asbestos roof to photovoltaic roof: the advantages of roof refurbishment with PV


Asbestos is harmful, and yet as a building material it is still part of many old roofs today. Since the roof will have to be renovated sooner or later in any case, it is worthwhile combining the construction work directly with the installation of a roof-mounted PV system. Owners of roofs benefit in three ways from a new roof with photovoltaics: the hazardous material is removed, the new photovoltaic roof system recoups the costs of the renovation and for at least 20 years PV supplies green electricity for the householder’s own energy needs or for feeding into the grid.

For a long time, the use of asbestos was standard practice in the construction industry due to its insulating properties, strength and resistance to heat and acids. However, the use of asbestos has been prohibited by law since 1993, after its negative impact on health and the environment was established.

Roofs with corrugated sheets containing asbestos which were installed before the ban can still be found in industrial and commercial properties. This has consequences for the photovoltaic industry, among others, because according to the hazardous materials ordinance (TRGS 519), the installation of solar systems on asbestos cement roofs is prohibited. If a roof-mounted photovoltaic system is planned the renovation of the roof must therefore be taken into account.

Photovoltaic installations on an asbestos roof do not receive planning permission


Many property owners are attracted to the green energy generated by photovoltaics. However, an asbestos roof will not even obtain an exceptional permit for a PV system. That is why our planners always advise customers to have the building re-roofed. The reason for this is simple: since photovoltaic systems are assumed to have a minimum service life of 20 years, there is a high probability that after some time the roof will show signs of damage anyway, which would then require its renovation. In such a case the expense would be much higher. Asbestos roofs should be properly removed and disposed of by roof renovation experts. After the reroofing is complete, the solar experts at SENS take charge of the planning and construction of the new rooftop photovoltaic system.

The proper disposal of asbestos is required by law Asbestos should be disposed of properly by specialist companies

Asbestos is giving way to green energy: the advantages of asbestos roof renovation with PV


The investment in a rooftop PV system as part of a roof renovation pays off in a number of ways. The revenues from the installation cover the costs of the renovation. If a PV plant is planned for the future anyway, the cost of scaffolding, cranes etc. will also only be incurred once. The new roof benefits from the protective effect of the modules against bad weather conditions which also ensures longer durability of the roof.

In the case of asbestos roof renovation, communication and planning are handled by SENS. Customers therefore receive everything from a single source and don't need to waste time finding providers, making enquiries and placing orders themselves. Even after the installation, the experts from STEAG Solar Energy Solutions take care of the maintenance and operation of the photovoltaic roof system on request.

Asbestos roof renovation: before and after Asbestos roof: before and after renovation

What must be considered for asbestos roof renovation?

It is clear that asbestos roof renovation is necessary for many older industrial buildings. Furthermore, no energy upgrade of these buildings by adding a rooftop PV system should be done without first renovating the asbestos roof. In addition, removal and disposal of asbestos must be performed carefully, which is why it is wise to employ suitably qualified and experienced specialists to do the work. These companies have the necessary know-how and tools and are familiar with the current protective measures that must be taken.

The way to avoid damage to health is therefore to employ certified experts to assess, remove and dispose of asbestos roofs. These experts know and can apply the technical rules covering hazardous materials, in particular TRGS 519 Asbestos: Demolition, reconstruction or maintenance work.

During the reroofing, SENS provides advice and support to ensure the optimum preparations are made for the subsequent installation of the rooftop PV system. The design and installation of the PV system are done in parallel with the roof renovation to arrive at an efficient solution. Before the roof renovation takes place, you should already have thought about whether you might also like to fit your roof with solar modules in the future. This is the only way to optimally integrate and orientate your PV system, because every roof type has its own advantages and constraints to be considered. Therefore, SENS also provides information about other types of roofs, such as foil roofs, green roofs and trapezoidal sheet-metal roofs. SENS experts can determine the optimum solution for integrating PV modules into any roofing project.

No requirement of your own for photovoltaics? Earning money with green energy

Even if you don't have a high energy requirement yourself, photovoltaics on your own roof can be attractive. Renting out an area of roof for a photovoltaic installation is also possible for the owners of asbestos roofs. Renovation is necessary in any case, but the cost of this can then usually be offset by the rent. Depending on the cost of the roof renovation, customers can earn additional money from the rental payments afterwards.

Find out all about the possibilities of asbestos roof renovation in combination with photovoltaics. Our experts at STEAG Solar Energy Solutions will be happy to advise you!

 

Fotos: Sascha Link