Solar power is the least-used source of energy in the country, yet solar harvesting has grown more than 50% per year, according to the government. AIA Architect's Katherine Flynn explains that, as solar has become more affordable and efficient, architects and other housing pros are beginning to map how to incorporate the technology into the development process in the earliest stages.

“Oftentimes solar panels might be tacked on as an afterthought after the building has already been designed, and that’s pretty unattractive, generally,” says Anthony Denzer, a professor of civil and architectural engineering at the University of Wyoming and a member of the university’s Building Energy Research Group(UW BERG).

Denzer and his colleague Jon Gardzelewski, AIA, believe that solar power might be more widely implemented by architects in both residential and commercial buildings if it were not only more affordable but also more aesthetically appealing. To that end, they’ve created an “architectural taxonomy” for incorporating solar technology into the building design phase.

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