NEUMANN MONSON ARCHITECTS

Renewable Energy

We’re noticing them more frequently; solar arrays are becoming commonplace on new buildings throughout the Midwest as building owners invest in clean, renewable energy through photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Several of our clients have asked us to locate freestanding arrays, such as at the Unitarian Universalist Society building in Coralville. This type of installation places owners’ commitment to the future front and center.

Other arrays do double duty. At Market One in Des Moines, panels double as a parking lot shade structure. The owner targets net-zero energy consumption while reducing solar heat-island effect. Additional solar panels perch on the roof, further offsetting energy needs.

Often, clients prefer seamlessly integrated PV systems to minimize visual presence while maximizing energy output. At a private residence in Iowa City, a discrete roof array maintains clean sightlines from the street. MidWestOne’s new building, One Place, features a rooftop patio shaded by a solar-paneled trellis. The installation aligns with the roof plane to emphasize the building’s simple form.