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No Planning Permission Required for Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and Building Applied Photovoltaics (BAPV)

  Published: 17 November 2022
  Theme: Instil (DC Services & Good Practices)

Singapore has been strengthening its adoption of clean energy, as part of national efforts to reduce Singapore’s carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency. The Singapore Green Plan has set the ambitious target of quadrupling solar energy deployment to 2 gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2030. Beyond the typical solar panel installations found on building rooftops and even on land- and water-based solar farms, new solar panel innovations have gradually emerged.

Solar panels 

Building Integrated Photovoltaics (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

One such innovation is Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), which are solar panels integrated directly into buildings, typically in place of another building component (such as window glass or roof/wall cladding). As BIPVs are part of the building, they are typically planned and integrated upfront in new buildings and do not require supporting or mounting structures.

Solar panels 

Building Applied Photovoltaics (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Another similar innovation is Building Applied Photovoltaics (BAPV), which are applied onto existing buildings. Existing building walls and/or roofs are retained and serve as the base for BAPV installations.

BIPVs and BAPVs present opportunities to optimize Singapore’s many building facades and rooftops to harvest solar energy. As part of URA’s efforts to facilitate such solar panel deployment initiatives, URA’s planning permission is not required for the specific installation of BIPVs and BAPVs, except for developments within areas subject to urban design guidelines and Conservation Areas. Such installations are subject to assessment by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) as part of their evaluation of building façade elements. QPs should also refer to BCA’s Daylight Reflectance Design Guide here to minimise such BIPV and BAPV installations posing glare issues to surrounding developments.


(Photos from Wikimedia Commons)