Pvilion solar canopies win BLT Built Design Award

Projects | February 1, 2024 | By: ATA

Visitors to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx looking for a brief respite to refuel and recharge have been doing so for the past few years under canopies that now can be called award-winning. Last fall Pvilion received recognition in the BLT Built Design Awards in one of the Landscape Architecture categories for this project. Strategically located near the botanical garden’s food truck area, the eight shade canopies have solar cells integrated into the fabric.

The New York Botanical Garden was the launch site for the company’s solar-powered canopy structures. The lightweight, turnkey canopies are fire-retardant, UV-resistant, sturdy and aesthetically pleasing—the latter of which was important to the client. Their installation was part of a pilot project funded by the Innovative Demonstrations for Energy Adaptability (IDEA) Program, an initiative of New York City’s Division of Energy Management that engaged vendors testing new or underused energy technologies. As a part of the city’s carbon emission reduction efforts, seven of the canopies contribute energy directly to the city’s power grid.

“It’s only fitting that the New York Botanical Garden, a place known for its greenery, will be leading the way with green energy technologies,” said Lisette Camilo, commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, at the time of the canopies’ installation.

The testing and demonstration time period for the canopies spanned July 2020 to December 2021. The study recorded results and listed notes for installation best practices. Because of this pilot, the canopies are popping up in other areas of the city as well, the company says, such as public library locations.

The BLT Built Design Awards program has four annual honors in landscape, architectural and interior design, and construction segments. The landscape awards in particular honor exceptional design that’s resilient, forward thinking and ecologically sensitive. “The award recognizes planning, design, management and nurturing of the built and natural environments,” the awards website notes. Open to entrants around the world and projects from the previous five years, the BLT Built Design awards are part of Three C Group GmbH, a Swiss company. 

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