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George Washington University, Ashburn, Virginia, United States

Wednesday 02 Oct 2013

Walking on sunshine

Images: Onyx Solar 
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World's first solar panel pavement installed at George Washington University by Onyx Solar 

The world’s first solar panelled pavement has been installed at George Washington University in Ashburn, Virginia (US). Designed by Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) specialists Onyx Solar, the pavement panels are slip-resistant and semi-translucent for optimum aesthetic appeal and functionality. The energy generated by the pavement (approximately 400Wp) will power 450 LED pathway lights beneath the panels themselves.

In total 27 panels have been used in the pavement design which has been integrated into a popular Solar Walk between two of the university’s buildings, Innovation Hall and Exploration Hall. The Solar Walk was completed by Studio39 Landscape Architecture and Hubert Construction LLC in 2012 with design features suggested by current students of the university. The walkway also boasts a trellis with embedded solar panels which supply energy to Innovation Hall.

Eric Selbst, Senior Land Use Planner explains: “The Solar Walk is a great example of George Washington University’s commitment to sustainability and a reflection of the university’s forward thinking mentality. With an ever-increasing need for alternative energy solutions, it is critical to foster new trends such as this in building sustainable technologies. We are very excited about this project and proud to be a trailblazer in the development of new methods and sustainability.”

This is just one of many intelligent pavement designs we have featured on WAN, with others including an intricate mosaic-pattern to create QR codes for tourists on Brazilian streets and an air-heated bridge in Sweden which melts snow in the winter so that pedestrians and cyclists can still use the infrastructure during the colder seasons. 

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