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Enhancing the appearance of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) through the application of Traditional Symbols: A Case Study

Awuku, Samuel Amo; Bennadji, Amar; Muhammad-Sukki, Firdaus; Sellami, Nazmi


Samuel Amo Awuku

Amar Bennadji


Over the past years, advanced renewable technologies such as Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) has transformed to become more efficient, reliable, less costly and attractive. A migration to Net-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and push for Green Buildings (GB) is a major driver for the adoption of BIPVs, not only in developed countries, but also in the developing world. Fundamental issues such as cost, aesthetics, technological lock-in, awareness, and socio- economic barriers have been identified as major hindrances to the advancement of BIPVs especially in developing countries. Understandably, there have been growing concerns about the aesthetics of BIPVs especially as it directly replaces conventional building materials. It has also been established in several studies that symbolism and cultural acceptance have direct impact on architecture. For instance, in Ghana, symbols like “Adinkra” are valued as epitome of beauty, hence replicated on clothes, buildings façades, emblems etc. A hypothetical question is established here; Will replicating traditional symbols such as “Adinkra” on intended building materials such as BIPV for façade and roofing influence its adoption in Ghana and alike countries? This paper establishes and analyze the nexus between traditional design symbols and buildings with the aim of developing a viable design prototype for BIPV developers and installers by drawing from existing literature and design expertise. Here, traditional Ghanaian Adinkra symbols have been used as case study for BIPV application in futuristic buildings. A pilot illustration of a BIPV building with Ghanaian Adinkra symbols have been demonstrated using graphic design software. Traditional Adinkra symbols will have direct bearing on the acceptance and adoption of BIPVs in Ghana, considering the value and cultural attachment Ghanaians have with these symbols. This paper will serve as a resource material for BIPV developers and installers.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (Published)
Conference Name 3rd International Conference on Energy and Power (ICEP2021)
Start Date Nov 18, 2021
End Date Nov 20, 2021
Acceptance Date Oct 16, 2021
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Dec 17, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 31, 2022
Publisher AIP Publishing
Volume 2681
Book Title AIP Conference Proceedings
ISBN 978-0-7354-4257-3
Public URL
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Enhancing The Appearance Of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) Through The Application Of Traditional Symbols: Using Ghanaian "Adinkra" Symbols As Case Study (339 Kb)

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