Home | About us | What we do | Sectors | Contact us | Careers | Travel to BRE | News & Information | Services A-Z | Login

BRE Publications

Coming soon..

Construction Management of BIPV projects

A technical guide to solar car parks


Building-integrated photovoltaic systems: Challenges and opportunities for manufacturers and specifiers --  S Pester

Photovoltaics: integration into buildings -- C Stirling and P Baker

Large Scale Solar

Community engagement good practice guidance for solar farms (free) -- NSC

This document outlines good practice and principles for community engagement over the lifecycle of a UK solar farm project. It is aimed primarily at commercial developers although it may also be useful for individuals and community groups.

Biodiversity Guidance for Solar Developments (free) -- NSC

There are a large number of options for increasing biodiversity on solar farms. This national guidance was developed with, and endorsed by, a number of UK conservation organisations to help planners, ecologists, developers, clients and landowners better understand how to support biodiversity on solar farms.

Agricultural Good Practice Guidance for Solar Farms (free) -- NSC

Further to the above Biodiversity Guidance for Solar Developments (2014), this document describes recent experience and principles of good practice for the management of small livestock in solar farms established on agricultural land, derelict/marginal land and previously developed land.

Planning Guidance for the development of large-scale ground mounted solar PV systems (free) -- NSC

Rising energy costs and the support of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) and the Renewable Obligations Certificates have significantly increased the financial viability and attractiveness of installing solar PV panels. These installations may be roof / wall mounted or standalone / ground mounted.

This national guidance provides best practice planning guidance in respect of how large ground mounted arrays are developed setting out planning considerations and requirements.

Solar storage

BRE Solar Storage Consumer Guide (free) -  Guidance for domestic and small commercial consumers considering a battery system to work alongside an existing or new solar PV system. This guide is designed to help you decide if a battery storage system makes sense for you. It covers the basics of battery storage for solar PV systems, what you need to consider to work out if they are for you, where you can find more information and the questions you need to ask any prospective installer.

Batteries with Solar Power - A Technical Guide to the use of Energy Storage with Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaic Systems -  Guidance on energy storage for solar PV systems for installers.  Covering available technology for grid connected domestic and small commercial systems.  Providing information on time-shifting and off-grid functionality, different battery technologies and system integration.  (Available from the BRE Bookshop)

Commercial Solar

Solar PV on Commercial Buildings  (free) - Commercial properties have large, generally unused roofs, and account for about 8% of the UK’s energy consumption, but less than 5% of UK solar installations are on commercial roofs. Installing solar can make sound economic sense; it reduces carbon emissions, offsets the need to purchase peak time electricity from the grid, and helps to insulate companies from future electricity price fluctuations.  This new guide from BRE & REA looks at the key issues and provides a range of options for successful project delivery including: considerations for design, contractual arrangements and financing options.

Commercial Solar Business Model (free) - This financial model can help establish the IRR, NPV and LCOE for commercial rooftop solar projects. 

BRE Solar Carpark Guide (free) - Installing solar systems above surface and multi-storey car parks is becoming increasingly popular. The area above a car park is an otherwise unexploited brownfield site that can be used to generate renewable energy. This document is aimed at purchasers and developers of solar carport systems. It provides an outline of all the key factors in site selection, solar carport design requirements and business case formation.

BRE Solar Carpark Financial Model (free) - This model helps you make a solid business case for solar carparks. 

Solar Thermal

Solar thermal systems: Key factors for successful installations -- A Thorne

Reliability and performance of solar-collector systems -- BRE

Cost and performance of solar water-heating systems in the UK -- S J Wozniak  

Solar design

Ensuring Place - Responsive Design for Solar Photovoltaics on Buildings (free) - A good practice guide for solar PV system designers, manufacturers and installers.  Developed by BRE for CPRE, the guide aims to promote better design and deployment of solar PV systems through place-responsive design, reducing the landscape and visual impacts on the natural and built environment.

Solar Design Tips is an accompanying leaflet to the guide aimed at homeowners themselves.

Wind loads on roof-mounted photovoltaic and solar thermal systems (revised 2014) -- P Blackmore

DC isolators for photovoltaic systems (FB 68) --S Pester

Installation of photovoltaic panels on existing flat roofs - some lessons learned -- R Sadgrove and S Pester

Photovoltaic systems on dwellings: Key factors for successful installaions -- S Pester and A Thorne

Renewable energy technologies: Key factors for successful installations - Set of 5 BRE Information Papers -- A Thorne and S Pester

Photovoltaics in Buildings: Guide to the installation of PV systems 2nd Edition -- BRE, EA Technology, Halcrow Group, SunDog Energy, Energy Savings Trust

Guide to installation of renewable energy systems on roofs residential buildings -- NHBC Foundation and BRE Trust 

Planning decentralised energy systems in large new developments: Guidance on preparing to implement DE Schemes -- J Williams

(Domestic PV) Good Practive Guide, Part 1: Project Management and Installation Issues -- BRE

(Domestic PV) Good Practice Guide, Part 2: System Performance Issues -- M Munzinger, F Crick, E J Dayan, N Pearsall, C Martin

Solar performance

Making the most of solar: a guide for tenants of solar powered homes (free) -- NSC

Renewable energy sources: how they work and what they deliver: Photovoltaics -- J Holden

Making the most of renewable energy systems -- J Holden

Performance of photovoltaic systems on non-domestic buildings -- S Pester and F Crick

Photovoltaics Domestic Field Trial Final Report -- BRE

General solar information

Funding renewable energy projects: An introduction to the Feed-in-Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentive schemes and associated options -- M Dickinson, R Rabinowitz, J Smit and P Ajiboyes

Sustainability strategies for healthcare estates: Lessons from University College London Hospitals -- C Clear, J Hardi and A Thorne

Lessons learned from community-based microgeneration projects: The impact of renewable energy capital grant schemes -- M Munzinger, KS Venkataramanan, S Pester, D Forward and K Jordan

Smart meters and smart energy networks for dwellings -- M Perry

Introduction to Feed-in-Tariffs -- NHBC Foundation and BRE Trust

Feed-in Tariffs: Accelerating the Deployment of Renewable Energy -- M Mendonca

Switching to Renewable Power: A Framework for the 21st Century -- V Lauber 

Solar energy in urban areas -- P Littlefair

Solar Energy Utilisation in UK Buildings -- R G Courtney


To find out more or sign up to our newsletter email: nsc@bre.co.uk

To discuss how we can work to support you please give us a call: +44 (0)1726 871830


BRE National Solar Centre

Foundation Building
Eden project
St Blazey
PL24 2SG