Arena of the Environment received the European Solar Energy Prize


Arena of the Environment received the European Solar Energy Prize for 2012. More than 5000 photovoltaic panels make up the roof of architect René Schmid's remarkable building. Basler & Hofmann were responsible for the design concept and technical consultancy of the solar-panelled roof. It is the largest roof-integral photovoltaic installation in Switzerland.

The European Solar Energy Prize is awarded for exemplary projects in renewable energy applications by Eurosolar, the European Union for Renewable Energy. After the Swiss Solar Energy Prize for 2012 (Norman Foster Solar Awards category), this was the second prize received by Umwelt Arena for its exceptional solar energy architecture. Umwelt Arena produces 203% of its own energy consumption using renewable energy. 

The integral solar-panelled roof generates a great deal of solar energy

The most striking aspect of the building is its roof: It is made up of 33 individual triangular areas that are fitted with photovoltaic modules and resemble a large crystal. Alongside about 4,500 standard modules, a further 1,000 modules were tailor-made for this roof installation. The amazing thing about the roof is that from all points of the compass, it generates 82% of the solar energy that an equivalent sized photovoltaic installation optimally pointing south would generate.