Solar Canopies Provide a Solution for New York Roofs

A design fix helps Brooklyn brownstones go green.

1 minute read

June 20, 2016, 10:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden


Steve Rainwater / Flickr

Homes in Brooklyn and Manhattan may face an architectural obstacle in going solar, Liz Stinson explains in Wired: the flat roof common to brownstones and brick buildings.

Besides the fact that solar panels may perform better at particular angles, skylights and HVAC systems can provide physical barriers to installing solar arrays.

To solve these problems, local firm Situ Studio and startup Brooklyn SolarWorks created a solar canopy that bolts to the roof and elevates photovoltaic panels by 10 feet. It avoids obstacles on the roof, clears city codes, and allows Brooklyn’s bright young things to keep up their rooftop gatherings.

Stinson notes that the canopies, which are customized to every roof, make a "conspicuous addition to the skyline":

[SolarWorks CEO] Ludwig considers that a good thing. “We think as more people go on their own roofs and they see their neighbors going solar with canopies, that’s going to add a viral effect to going solar,” he says. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 in Wired

stack of books

Planetizen’s Top Planning Books of 2023

The world is changing, and planning with it.

November 24, 2023 - Planetizen Team

Close-up of 'Red Line Subway Entry' sign with Braille below and train logo above text in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side

The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.

November 24, 2023 - The Architect's Newspaper

Aerial view of Eugene, Oregon at dusk with mountains in background.

Eugene Ends Parking Minimums

In a move that complies with a state law aimed at reducing transportation emissions, Eugene amended its parking rules to eliminate minimum requirements and set maximum parking lot sizes.

December 3, 2023 - NBC 16

Close-up of exposed pipe in trench with blurred utility workers and yellow truck in background.

EPA Calls for Eliminating Lead Water Pipes in 10 Years

The mandate doesn’t include additional funding, prompting backlash from utility companies.

35 minutes ago - Route Fifty

Outdoor public restrooms with two silver doors and icons for men, women, wheelchair accessibility, and baby changing above doors.

Baltimore Considers Public Restroom Project

The city is starting to develop a plan for adding more public restrooms downtown, where available bathrooms are scarce and historic buildings are being damaged by public urination.

1 hour ago - The Baltimore Banner

Facade of brick multistory apartment buildings in New York City with fire scapes.

Will New York’s Strict Short-Term Rental Rules Work?

Some owners are reluctant to put short-term rental units back on the long-term rental market, but the number of permitted units has dropped dramatically.

2 hours ago - Stateline

Senior Planner

City of Kissimmee - Development Services

Planner II

City of Kissimmee - Development Services

Senior Travel Demand Modeler

Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

"Rethinking Commuter Rail" podcast & Intercity Bus E-News

Chaddick Institute at DePaul University

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.