Circular Lighting Report

Facade lighting project is net zero

This lighting facade scheme on a pavilion in Switzerland consumes only as much electrical energy as it’s capable of producing.

A lighting facade scheme on a pavilion in Switzerland consumes only as much electrical energy as it’s capable of producing.

The Novartis Pavillon in Basel combines organic photovoltaics and LEDs to make it net zero, says its creators.

It was designed by iart in collaboration with AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi.

They say the project was made possible by the carbon-based organic solar modules, which were custom-made for the Novartis Pavillon.

They span the exterior of the recently-opened building and illustrates the potential of organic photovoltaics in architecture.

The zero-energy media façade features a total of 10,000 diamond-shaped solar modules.

Embedded within are LEDs which not only shine outwards, but also in the direction of the metal shell beneath. The light reflects off the shell, and shimmers outwards through the semi-transparent solar modules, resulting in a visually multi-layered membrane with the ability to display content.

Consuming only as much electrical energy as it is capable of producing, the membrane becomes a zero-energy media façade.

Their design and physical properties make these organic solar modules ideal for use on the dome- shaped Novartis Pavillon, as they can be produced in various shapes, are bendable, translucent, and extremely light-sensitive. This also means they can also be installed in spots not ideally oriented towards the sun. They contain less grey energy than silicon solar modules, making them interesting from a sustainability perspective.

The arrangement of the solar modules on the dome-shaped Novartis Pavillon enables the measurement of the electricity produced in all directions. Data collected during the first few months of operation shows that the façade produces enough power to display text in the daytime – when the exhibition is open– and digital art animations for up to two hours after sunset.

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Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.