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Winner | 2023 BLT Built Design Awards

Pvilion’s Quad Pole Solar Sail wins a 2023 BLT Built Design Award in Landscape Architecture.

October 2023

This project included the design and installation of eight outdoor solar powered canopies at the New York Botanical Garden. These large, sturdy canopies were designed to provide the garden with plenty of sheltered outdoor space where visitors can relax in the shade on sunny days, charge their devices, and eat lunch provided by the nearby food trucks. They are strategically placed near the entrance by the food truck area of the garden, where they easy for visitors to find and enjoy.

The fabric used for the canopies is integrated with specialty solar technology that is lightweight, flexible, and easily integrated into unique and beautiful designs. The canopies are also waterproof, fire-retardant, UV-resistant, and built to withstand extreme weather conditions. The outlets beneath the canopy are completely powered by the batteries connected to solar fabric system. These sustainable and carefully designed canopies were added to the park as an effort to solve the garden’s need for easily accessible outdoor seating and off-grid power supply.

About the BLT Built Design Awards:

The BLT Built Design Awards recognize the expertise of all professionals involved in the realization of outstanding projects, on a global basis — from architecture firms and interior design experts, to construction products and landscape architects.

Our objective is to become the world’s most inclusive awards platform for the building industry, identifying and promoting outstanding projects annually. We want to raise awareness and shine a well-deserved spotlight on all the professions involved in the realization of new infrastructure.

We focus on celebrating projects, people, and their passion for the industry, and through our rigorous judging process, we recognize those that have gone above and beyond normal, expected standards in the last five years. Selected by our esteemed jury of architects, designers, manufacturers, and leaders in construction and architectural fields, the annual winners will receive the BLT Awards trophy, extensive publicity showcasing their designs and project to an international audience, and more. To continue reading this excerpt from their website, click here.

To view our award on their website, click here.

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Two Wins, a Loss, and a Disaster

Another day in the life of the climate fight.

September 12, 2023 | BILL MCKIBBEN | The Crucial Years Newsletter

We are truly in the midst of the climate battle now, all around the world, with new developments daily in the ongoing fight between activists who want to speed up the transition to clean energy and the fossil fuel industry that wants to slow it down. I spend much of the day trying to help in some small way in that battle: today it meant a couple of press conferences, some pressuring of corporate execs, working with my colleagues at Third Act, talking with colleagues in Africa and Europe. But it occurred to me that the very banality of a day like this hides the extraordinary ebb and flow of events. So here’s just a few of the things that happened on some of the various fronts today:

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In California, SB 253 made it through the legislature, which is an incredibly big deal. Because California is the fifth largest economy on earth, and this law would force the big companies that do business there—which is everyone, really, because who is going to miss out on that economy?—to fully disclose their carbon emissions, including their “Scope 3” emissions, which are the ones that come from the supply chain. Before the bill could pass it had to overcome huge lobbying by the Chamber of Commerce and the fossil fuel industry—they know that if companies like, say, Google are required to report, say, the carbon that comes from their banking arrangements with Chase or Citi, then Google will start putting pressure on those banks to stop lending to Exxon and Chevron. Enormous thanks to the legislators and activists who pushed—and who now must push Gavin Newsom to actually sign the law. He talks an excellent climate game, but rest assured there will be enormous pressure on him here. The Sierra Club’s executive director Ben Jealous called on Newsom to sign, and added that the “Securities and Exchange Commission should join California, the European Union, and other jurisdictions in taking a comprehensive approach to requiring the disclosure of all emissions and major climate risks.”

To understand why this is so important, consider Apple’s new product launch today, which featured a quite wonderful environmental skit starring Apple boss Tim Cook and his sustainability vp Lisa Jackson (former head of the EPA), playing opposite Octavia Spencer as Mother Nature. It was part of the company’s announcement that their Apple Watches were now carbon-free—a real accomplishment in metallurgy, fabric science, and so on. But also not quite true, because Apple’s biggest source of carbon emissions is the money it keeps in America’s banking system, which is lent out for new pipelines and the like. When you count those emissions, Apple’s carbon footprint goes up 64 percent. And SB 253 will make them count those emissions—and I have no doubt that their teams will then get to work reducing them, by pressuring the (much smaller in corporate terms) megabanks to stop bankrolling fossil fuel expansion. If you’re the head of Chase, and Tim Cook says ‘bro, we cannot meet our promise to be net zero by 2030 if you don’t change,’ then you have precisely the kind of problem that’s necessary for progress.

+A loss—partial, and smaller—across the country in New York. The city is getting ready to enforce a law that requires landlords to retrofit their buildings to reduce carbon emissions; the city’s landlord class opposes it, and they apparently have enough political clout to sway the city’s mercurial mayor Eric Adams, who today proposed a series of loopholes to weaken the law. Groups like New York Communities for Change and Food & Water Watch called it “a huge gift to New York’s top corporate polluters — the real estate lobby, who are his largest campaign donors. If his proposed rules are adopted, New Yorkers could lose tens of thousands of jobs, air pollution could increase by millions of tons per year, and energy bills could get even higher because landlords will be allowed  to avoid upgrading their dirty, polluting buildings to high energy efficiency.”

Just as the California fight isn’t over till Newsom signs the bill, so the New York one isn’t done yet either. And in both cases success depends on activism, which is why it was sweet to see a tweet first thing in the morning from the New York University chapter of the Sunrise Movement disclosing that NYU has finally divested from fossil fuels. This battle has been going on for a decade—I’ve watched many remarkable students and faculty push hard, with sit-ins and petitions and all the tools of the activist toolkit. The administration has been absurdly resistant—back in 2016, after a faculty vote for divestment, it said it would be “disingenuous” to sell oil stocks while the campus was still using oil, which is Twitter-level political analysis. But the kids kept coming, and today it was victory.

And, also today, it was terrible, heart-rending defeat. Record rainfall in Libya—the kind of rainfall you get when you heat the ocean and the atmosphere—overwhelmed two dams. At least five thousand people are dead, and since ten thousand are missing that number will keep rising. Nothing we do will prevent tragedy at this point; but if we do all we can, then there will be less tragedy. That’s the calculus of this day, and every day, on our overheating earth.

In other energy and climate news:

+In late August Eucadoreans voted overwhelmingly to keep the oil beneath the Yasuni National Park in the ground. That’s about 726 million barrels, no small thing, and it should shame rich countries of the north that can’t bring themselves to do the same.

The oil industry is a global, interconnected industry. Much of the oil exploited in Yasuni for example is taken to the United States; in California, one out of every nine tanks of gasoline is filled with oil from the Amazon. Resistance to global corporations and the powers of greed, is only possible through global movements, countering these powers and protecting their territories of life. Our collective power to confront the oil industry is in unity;the frontlines lead, but are supported by national and global solidarity. To win this historic victory, Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists and organizations joined forces, coordinating mobilizations, assemblies and eye-catching digital campaigns. Over the last month, the campaign gathered international support and recognition from international celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprioMark RuffaloGreta ThunbergJada Pinkett SmithJason MomoaGael Garcia Bernal, among others. This vote shows that when we come together, and are creative in our collaborations, we win. When we build bridges across divisions, we are unbreakable.

+Nifty account by Liza Featherstone in In These Times about how New York state activists won the legislative battle to “put the publicly owned New York Power Authority in charge of building renewable energy with a mandate to do so in the interest of working people” instead of leaving it up to private utilities:

The New York power campaign canvassed in neighborhoods suffering unreasonably high electric rates and the fallout of climate disasters. The devastating 2019 blackout in New York City left many stranded in elevators and subways, which revealed — according to Amber Ruther, then an NYC-DSA member who was part of the early organizing— that ConEd, a for-profit company with a monopoly, ​“didn’t have the incentive to invest in even basic grid maintenance.” Public power advocates argued that the government, without the profit motive and with democratic oversight and obligation, could do a better job.

The campaign also held town halls in affected neighborhoods. It turned out that ConEd had kept the lights on in wealthy areas but had cut off power in working-class Black communities like Flatbush. Ruther recalls ​“a lot of righteous anger from the community about those blackouts” during town hall events. As one Flatbush resident interviewed for a DSA video put it, ​“Why are we always in the dark?”

Meanwhile, Brooke Anderson in Yes about the unlikely and inspiring story of the Shelterwood Collective, bringing a solar-powered microgrid to thier part of northern California:

“Shelterwood centers queer and trans folks in ecology. It means a lot—returning to home—especially in a community in which we’re ostracized into the margins or forced into the cities for protection,” says Layel Camargo, co-founder and co-executive director of Shelterwood, and an Indigenous (Yaqui and Mayo of the Sonoran Desert), trans organizer and cultural worker. “We’re returning our people back to the land.”

But Shelterwood is in the heart of Northern California’s wildfire country, Camargo explains. When it’s hot and windy, PG&E turns off the power without warning. This is a problem for Shelterwood, which sits outside of cellular service and relies on electricity to power satellite phones. Shelterwood also depends on power for their housing, kitchen, retreat center, phones, lights, internet, electric vehicles, and electric tools.

“Rural communities are really at the hands of these monopolized energy companies. In an emergency, without power, we couldn’t call 911. There’d be no way to get information about an evacuation,” Camargo says. “The best way for us to survive out here, and to stay ecologically aligned, is to have as much control of our utilities as we can.”

+Wyoming is the biggest coal state in the union, but by the time the Transwest transmission line is finished, it could be a clean energy powerhouse

+Definitely read Naomi Klein’s new book, released today. The craziness that she describes settling over our global politics is driven in no small part by climate denial, which became a template for covid denial.

+Not just New York—climate marches all over the country and the world this weekend. Paul Hockenos writes from Berlin, where his son is skipping school to march:

In discussion, and on the TV and radio talk shows, the young people quake with indignation. They talk passionately of a system that is wrecking their future and which they — ineligible to vote — have no say in. They talk about “taking back their future.”

They’ve opted for the school strike and other forms of civil disobedience because the decisions directly affecting their lives are made over their heads — and often it seems for the worse. As they say, they’re the ones most affected in the long term — and yet, in many cases, their young age means they’re not even able to vote.

The way they can be heard is to take to the streets. And doing so on a school day packs an even harder punch — that’s civil disobedience.”

+Solar fabric from a company called Pvilion is being used in war relief in the Ukraine—and also in canopies for cocktail parties in New York. Solar everywhere!

And since we’re talking appropriate technology, check out a great new film on the burgeoning sail cargo movement.

+Teen Vogue, always on the case—this time reminding us that our banks and credit cards are huge sources of emissions.

That’s why climate activists are increasingly turning their attention to big banks as part of their efforts to prevent more carbon from entering the atmosphere. “We wouldn’t have things like the Willow Project or Line Three” — an oil drilling project in Alaska and a pipeline from Canada to Wisconsin, respectively — “if we didn’t have these big banks underwriting them by lending them all this money,” said Cathy Becker, responsible finance campaign director for Green America, a nonprofit.

+A fascinating Rural New Deal proposal, from Progressive Democrats of America, with some focus on energy, and a full suite of smart proposals for turning around some of the things that have turned the countryside bitter.

To view the original source, click here.

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GOLD AWARD WINNER |  2023 Muse Design Awards

Pvilion’s Portable Lightweight Solar Sail

September 2023

Pvilion Walks Away Victorious in the 2023 MUSE Design Awards: Season 2

Brooklyn, NY – The MUSE Creative and Design Awards, leading competitions that honor creative and design professionals, have released the list of winners for its second competitive season of 2023. The awards saw as many as 6,500 entries submitted from across the world, all vying for a chance to be honored as a MUSE.

For this competitive season, Pvilion walks away victorious with the Gold award to their name.

The MUSE Awards is made up of a series of competitions organized to honor excellence in various fields and industries. In order to guarantee recognition only goes to those who truly deserve it regardless of class or background, IAA ensures that these competitions are kept accessible and fair.

“This season’s works took the team by surprise with the level of quality they were at. The entrants certainly deserve the recognition for all the efforts they had put in,” Thomas Brandt, spokesperson of IAA elaborated. He continued, “these professionals and creatives demonstrate how those who pursue excellence will always thrive, regardless of the changes their industries go through.”

Judging was done by a jury panel which was composed of industry professionals. Thanks to their efforts, IAA was successful in upholding impartiality and implementing industry-relevant assessment criteria. The jury was tasked with identifying companies or individuals whose works exemplified excellence and that had pushed their respective industries forward.

Grand Jury Panel

The awards received jury nominations from 17 countries and ended up with 60 jurors. These professionals are held in high regard in their respective industries and are tied to renowned organizations in the creative and design industries. For example, Lead Consultant at Coldharbour Communications – Jon Meakin, Founder/CCO of Cutwater – Chuck McBride, VP, Brand & Creative Services of PubMatic, Inc. – Imelda Suriato, Associate Creative Director at McCann NY – Alexandre Kazuo Kubo, Group Creative Director at Ogilvy NY – Mohamed DiaaEldin Osman, Principal Architect and Landscape Architect at Studio Arth LLC – Rituparna Simlai, Senior Architect at Tiago do Vale Architects – Tiago do Vale, Director of DesignAware – Takbir Fatima, Founder, hcreates interior design – Hannah Churchill, Founder and Creative Director of IN.X Design – Wu Wei, to name a few.

On top of having industry-relevant standards in the judging process, impartiality was further enforced by using the blind judging method. Effectively, each entry was evaluated by multiple judges without being compared to other submissions. In this scenario, every work could only win based on their own merits.

Participation of International Brands

Thanks to IAA’s global presence, the MUSE Creative and Design Awards received entries that included names of globally prominent organizations. Some submissions were made directly by said companies, while others were submitted by entrants who had produced work for them. For direct submissions, familiar names such as Paramount Global, Mastercard, Explainly, Savannah College of Art and Design, T Brand Studio/New York Times Advertising, United Nations Peacekeeping, International Monetary Fund, NORC at the University of Chicago, VICE Media Group, Leroy & Rose, Leo Burnett Malaysia, The Narrative Group, Vanpin Design, Guangzhou S.P.I Design, Archer Aviation, Natuzzi Italia, Kao (China) Research & Development Center Co., Ltd., Hugo Eccles, China University of Technology/ShiuanYuan Group, M&A Creative Agency, and Zippo (China) Outdoor Products Co., Ltd. were present; whereas indirect submissions included The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia), Uber Eats, KFC Canada, Funcom, Unilever, SIEMENS Mobility GmbH, General Motors, AstraZeneca, AT&T, Mars Wrigley, McDonald’s (China), Hartness Holdings, CHAGEE, vivo, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Da Long Yi, and China Railway Engineering Corporation.

“The winners of this season are undoubtedly some of the best talents the industries have to offer and it makes us proud to be able to honor these people for all their hard work,” Thomas said. “As they continue to express themselves in their works and push forward in excellence, we will certainly remain here to be a platform to spotlight their talents.”

To view the award listing, click here.

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Pvilion and La Plaza Cultural De Armando Perez Community Garden Create Solar Pavilion To Serve Community

August 1, 2023 | Julia Fowler

The solar pavilion will serve visitors of the garden on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

NEW YORK – Aug. 4, 2023 – Daily Tech Geek — Pvilion, a Brooklyn-based solar fabric company, has designed, engineered, fabricated, and installed a custom solar powered fabric pavilion with rainwater harvesting systems in the La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez Community Garden on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The system encompasses energy storage systems, a device charging station, power for lights and equipment for live music events, a graphic educational dashboard display showing performance of the system, and 1500 Watts of solar panels. The structure can produce about 7kWh of solar energy on a typical day.

The solar powered fabric roof connects to a silent, clean battery storage system with 270-amp hours of capacity. It offers enough power to support lighting, tools, electric bicycles, cell phones, fans, and dozens of phones and laptop computers. The system also features a dashboard that educates visitors with a graphic display about the power being generated and consumed in real-time. The rainwater harvesting system features a water diverter that channels rainwater from the roof into three large basins that store the water for future use in the gardens.

“La Plaza is thrilled to have collaborated with Pvilion to bring our solar vision to reality! Pvilion has been a delight to work with throughout the entire process,” said Ross Martin of La Plaza.

With the new addition of solar fabric roofing and power systems, the space now serves as a shelter for gardeners and guests during the day and a social center for events in the evenings. The space will also serve as a resiliency hub for the neighborhood if needed. With the added ability to provide amenities for the guests and users of the garden, it is equipped to better serve the community.

The structure originated as a simple 20′ x 20′ timber frame in the heart of the garden and is made of sustainably grown, horse harvested, and hand-hewn timber. It was erected entirely by hand by mostly volunteers. Ultimately, it will also feature a green roof, permeable paving, and removable sides, making it a truly unique example of green architecture in the city.

Pvilion’s solar powered pavilion is a long-awaited compliment to this beloved community garden in lower Manhattan. The garden plans to host a celebration inaugurating the solar pavilion soon.

About Pvilion

Pvilion is a solar-based fabrics and tent company, who offers products that range from stand-alone solar canopies to solar military tents, grid-tied long span structures, solar powered charging stations, solar powered curtains, building facades, backpacks, and clothing. They are known for integrating solar cells with fabrics and building fabric products that can generate electricity. To learn more visit https://www.pvilion.com/.

About La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez Community Garden

La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez is a community garden and park on 9th Street and Avenue C proudly serving Manhattan’s Lower East Side for nearly a half a century through food production, education, entertainment, and recreation. After decades of reclaiming abandoned lots, restoring damaged landscapes, and fighting development pressure from all levels of government, they are finally stable enough to focus on their dreams of being a much-needed hub and model for sustainable, regenerative, and resilient urban living. Their solar pavilion will enhance and facilitate this end, providing an indoor/outdoor space powered completely off grid, for gathering, workshops, and entertainment. To learn more visit https://laplazacultural.com/.

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Project Spotlight: Texas A&M University Central Texas

July 24, 2023 | Julia Fowler

How Pvilion helped provide students safe outdoor space on campus to recharge between classes.

Texas A&M University Central Texas’s Needed Some Shade

Texas A&M University’s Central Texas campus needed an outdoor space where students could rest in the shade outside, enjoy the charming comfort of campus, hangout with one another, and of course charge their phones and laptops in between classes. The Central Texas location of the Texas A&M University System was founded in 2009 and has a beautifully landscaped campus where students can enjoy their free time while attending one of the largest systems of higher education in the country.

The Challenge

The university faced the challenge of providing shaded space that solved all of these needs, while meeting the campus’s sustainability goals, and without taking away from the attractive layout of the campus’s thoughtfully executed landscape architecture design. They turned to Pvilion to design and provide a fully turn-key solution to address all of these needs.

Our Solution

Pvilion designed, manufactured, and installed a 12-foot by 12-foot solar fabric canopy with adorning tensile fabric shade sails for added shade and attractiveness. The canopy itself is semi-permanent and can be relocated if desired.  The shaded space was completed with hammocks, picnic benches, and of course solar powered battery kits for device charging. Students can now enjoy the charming outdoor views of campus with one another from the comfort of solar-powered shade!

Pvilion’s Quad Pole Solar Sail on Texas A&M University Central Texas campus
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4 Reasons Why Non-Traditional Solar Options Are Changing Outdoor Venues

Pvilion Blog |  May 2023 | Julia Fowler

1. Flexibility is the Future

Non-traditional solar is changing the game for renewable energy in temporary event and hospitality spaces due to the unique flexibility it offers. Solar fabric is:

  • Lightweight. It can be used in most outdoor spaces where heavy, traditional glass solar panels could not be used.
  • Used for permanent or temporary structures. Seasonal spaces and temporary venues can feature sustainable, battery powered shelter anywhere that its needed.
  • Suitable in spaces where traditional solar isn’t. Its lightweight and flexible nature allows it to be positioned and erected uniquely in spaces where clunky, traditional glass panels just don’t fit.
  • Opportunistic – any surface becomes an opportunity for solar. If there is an open space that receives plenty of sunlight, it can generate energy with the simple addition of solar fabric shelter.

2. Harmful Fumes Are Exiting the Building

There’s no question as to whether diesel generators are harmful. California recently passed legislation banning gas-powered generators (AB-1C346), and many other states are likely to follow suit. This is due to the many negative health effects tied to the toxic emissions of most gas-powered generators.

According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease 2019 study, air pollution was the third highest ranking risk factor of diseases that resulted in death globally. Other studies by Energy Report have found that the average diesel generator emits fumes that contain over 40 toxic air pollutants, most of which are carcinogenic. Some of the highest concentrates of pollutants found include PM10, CO, and VOCs.

Air pollutants aren’t only harmful to human health. They also cause long-term damage to the surrounding environment, climate, and ecosystems. Replacing diesel generators with solar powered battery kits offsets 100% of these emissions. It’s that simple.

3. Peace and Quiet

Harmful fumes aside, diesel generators are also linked to hearing loss. Small 50kW generators typically produce about 85 decibels while running. Several hours of exposure to this level of volume can cause hearing loss. Larger generators can lead to even larger problems – A 1500 kW generator typically emits 105 decibels, which can cause hearing loss after just one minute of close exposure, according to a 2018 United State Air Force commentary. Additionally, the CDC also warns against the dangers of hearing damage associated with the use of diesel generators.

Traditional diesel generators are not only loud and generally unpleasant to be around, but they are also linked to permanent hearing loss to those working closely with them. Battery kits powered by solar energy are completely silent. No more noise interrupting events or causing permanent loss of hearing.

4. Tax Credits and Financial Incentives

Pvilion provides turnkey products that are eligible for a 30 percent Solar Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). That means that the full 30 percent ITC applies to nearly 100 percent of your Pvilion solar product order. This includes the cost of the entire structure and energy storage system, as well as any labor and permitting for installation, all hardware and equipment, and applicable sales tax. This is before factoring in additional state incentives. Thanks to tax incentives like the ones currently in place, the addition of non-traditional solar power to shade systems essentially pays for itself.

Want to learn more about how Pvilion Solar Canopies can transform your outdoor space? Get in touch with our solar fabric experts to learn more and receive a free quote.

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Global Design News

Pvilion has created a solar pavilion that is both a free-standing, modular, self-sufficient way for community gardens to power their activities as well as a protector from rain while harvesting rainwater

Global Design News |  May 22, 2023

In collaboration with Nos Quedamos and its partners, Todd Dalland from Pvilion has designed and will build and install Pvilion’s Community Garden Solar Pavilions for Community for WE STAY/Nos Quedamos, Inc.

The pavilions are highly visible, south facing, free-standing, modular, self-sufficient solar pavilions in low shade areas of local community gardens.

Pvilion’s Community Garden Solar Pavilions for Community has recently been awarded a 2023 Green Good Design Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

They include rows of electrical outlets and USB outlets on countertops to charge cell phones, and other low voltage equipment.

The electricity that powers the outlets will be harvested from sunlight by lightweight, flexible solar cells that are integrated into the fabric of the solar pavilions.

Educational solar dashboards will be built into the pavilions to provide information regarding how much power is currently available in the batteries, how much power is currently being generated by the solar panels, and how much power is being drawn by the devices plugged in.

There will also be free, automatic wi-fi access, and routers will be built into the solar pavilions and powered by the solar energy harvested.

Wi-fi access will be available on cell phones automatically with no password required.

The design also includes low-voltage LED lights powered by the solar energy harvested to be built into the solar pavilions, to provide lighting at night.

There will be decorative lighting available to make the fabric roofs glow like urban lanterns at night and change colors for different occasions.

The solar pavilions will also feature sloped and guttered fabric roofs that will harvest rainwater, along with built-in spigots that will allow the water collected to be used for gardening to grow food and water the gardens.

The rainwater will be stored in above grade tanks.

Overall, the solar pavilions will serve as shelter from the sun and rain for meetings, presentations, and performances.

They are designed to be used as are multi-purpose outdoor rooms for community services, gallery shows, concerts, film screenings and other events.

Most importantly, the structures will be used as community resiliency hubs in the case of emergencies such as hurricanes, blackouts, and other disasters.

Fabric walls will be added to provide additional weather protection, which will be anchored to the ground and can be relocated when need be.

Project: Pvilion’s Community Garden Solar Pavilions for Community
Architects: Pvilion
Lead Architect: Todd Dalland
Partners: Nos Quedamos
Client: WE STAY/Nos Quedamos, Inc.
Images courtesy of the architects

To read from the original source, click here.

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INTERVIEW – Pvilion says solar canopy demand is equally split

Renewables Now  |  May 11, 2023  |  By Plamena Tisheva

Will canopies with embedded solar cells become a common sight? A New York-based company active in this niche market tells Renewables Now there is more demand than ever before, especially after the pandemic sparked a greater focus on outdoor spaces.

INTERVIEW - Pvilion says solar canopy demand is equally split between govt and commercial projects

Solar for Hospitality. Image by Pvilion.

Functional and mobile outdoor shelter with its own power is becoming essential in many settings, including disaster response and military conflicts, but also dining and events, Julia Fowler, Pvilion’s marketing lead, explains. The company specialises in integrating solar cells, mostly monocrystalline, into a fabric composite. It then creates various products such as solar military tents, stand-alone solar canopies or grid-tied long span structures.

“We have disaster response canopy projects throughout New York City, a hurricane resiliency hub in Miami, Florida, and Solar Powered Integrated Structures for emergency response utilised by the US Air Force around the globe. They have been used in a variety of disaster relief settings, including a recent application at a Ukrainian refugee camp in Poland this past summer. The tent systems were used as a summer camp classroom for Ukrainian refugee children, providing a safe space for the children to gather, learn, and have fun during their summer camp activities.”

The company draws on the expertise of its three co-founders – Colin Touhey, an electrical engineer, Todd Dalland, a lightweight structures designer, and Robert Lerner, who led programmes to develop lightweight deployable structures for NASA and the US Army.

At present, Pvilion’s projects are evenly divided between the government and commercial segments.

“We expect the demand to remain relatively even between these two markets, as the need for power and shelter remains essential to both sectors. This is why we have a commercial line that specialises in balancing aesthetic designs with functionality and power, and a separate ‘Solar Powered Integrated Structure’ line that prioritises high power output, mobility, and rapid shelter,” says Fowler.

The power capabilities of the products depends on the application. A tool on the company’s website enables clients to customise the power output for their needs. “For some outdoor dining applications, only a small amount of power may be needed to power lighting and phone charging. For military and emergency response applications, our solar kits can fully power aircraft control towers, 5G cell towers, heating and cooling systems, and water filtration systems, with no need for generators.”

The company notes that during a recent week-long trial run by the Air Force, all test cases resulted in zero fuel consumption.

Pvilion has also partnered with US event tent manufacturer Anchor Industries to offer clip-on solar fabric attachments for event tents. These attachments, combined with its clean battery kits, can replace loud and polluting diesel generators for different events.

Demand for the company’s product can receive a boost from the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and in particular the extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This credit applies to the entire structure, including installation, so customers can receive a 30% discount on their entire purchase for the next 10 years, the New York firm explains.

One of the projects Pvilion is working on this year is the provision of emergency resiliency canopies for Nos Quedamos, a Community Development Corporation is South Bronx, New York City, whose most recent initiative is to enhance community gardens that were formerly abandoned lots. Pvilion’s solar canopies will be installed in three different locations and will offer back-up power, as well as power for lights, chargers or community events.

To view the original article, click here.

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WINNER |  2023 Green Good Design Awards

Pvilion’s Solar Fabric Kits for Coldplay World Tour

As Awarded by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.

Designers: Todd Dalland, Pvilion, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Client: Coldplay, United Kingdom


This product was designed and provided to Coldplay for their 2022-2023 world tour. The product includes flexible, travel-friendly solar fabric panels and fully functional battery kits to help power key elements of each concert. Pvilion provided the band with 70, 10 ft x 3.5 ft clip-on solar fabric panels. 

These solar fabric products are lightweight, flexible, can be folded up, and are easy to travel with. At each stop that the tour makes, the fabric panels can quickly be set-up and attached to most surfaces that receive sunlight and are fully operational by showtime. 

The goal of the Coldplay: Music of The Spheres Tour is to be as sustainable and low-carbon as possible, and diesel generators are incredibly harmful to the environment and those that work around them at concert venues. 

The addition of these solar fabric kits reduces the harmful fumes that would otherwise be emitted using diesel generators at each concert and is an essential component to the band’s sustainability efforts. 


About the Green Good Design Sustainability Awards:

“For 2023, Green GOOD DESIGN received hundreds of submissions from around the world. Members of The European Center’s International Advisory Committee—worldwide leaders in the design industry—served as the jury and selected over 180 new products, programs, people, environmental planning, and architecture as outstanding examples of Green Design.

The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design have joined forces on two continents to present an innovative and challenging new public program: GREEN GOOD DESIGN SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS.

GOOD DESIGN™ was founded in Chicago in 1950 by Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. to promote and foster a greater public understanding and acceptance for Modern Design.

Now in turn and in 2023, GREEN GOOD DESIGN‘s goal is to bestow international recognition to those outstanding individuals, companies, organizations, governments, and institutions – together with their products, services, programs, ideas, and concepts-that have forwarded exceptional thinking and inspired greater progress toward a more healthier and more sustainable universe.” (This is an excerpt from their website. Click here to read more on the original site.)

To view the award listing, click here.