Are You Solar Ready?

Truss design and engineering is constantly evolving to conform to new building code changes and current market conditions. The current focus is for all new residential homes to be designed Solar Ready. The Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Solar Ready initiative is currently in effect, as of June 21st 2011, for many of BC’s municipalities and will be expanded to all of BC with the release of the 2012 BC Building Code.

Pacific Truss has been very involved with the Solar Ready initiative as our very own Wizard, Larry Schwazer has been offering suggestions, advice, data, relevant information and design solutions as committee member for the Western Wood Truss Association of BC (WWTABC). The WWTABC is working with the Truss Plate Institute of Canada (TPIC) who is developing the technical bulletin to establish compliance with the National Building Code of Canada.  This bulletin will be referenced in the new 2012 BC Building Code for Solar Ready Truss Design Procedures.

What does this mean?

The truss design of all new residential homes in BC will require a minimum 10’ x 12’ unobstructed south facing roof area to be deemed Solar Ready. 

What’s involved?

The Builder/Building Designer must indicate the Solar Ready location on the house plans and ensure that the Truss Designer has been notified. The Truss Designer uses special load considerations for the truss design in that location to support the point loads of the solar cells that will be attached to the roof. Pre-cut scab pieces are supplied to be installed on site to the truss top chords in the Solar Ready area where the solar cells will be attached. Engineering drawings and layouts are clearly marked where the Solar Ready trusses are located.  The trusses themselves are clearly marked “Solar Ready” on the side that will support the solar panels.

Are there exemptions?

Yes. The roof design must be able to accommodate a Solar Ready area; an unobstructed 10’ x 12’ area on the south facing side. If your home will be significantly shadowed by trees, tall buildings, etc or the roof layout does not physically have a large enough area to accommodate the solar panels, your home could be exempt. The building inspectors in each municipality have the authority to qualify or de-qualify a roof system for a Solar Ready Truss Design. 

At Pacific Truss, we’re Solar Ready! Contact us for a free quote!

Useful links & documents for more information:

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