As designers and architects try to meet green construction or net-zero energy goals, on-site power generation in the form of photovoltaic (PV) arrays is becoming more and more common. Preparing your roof to accept a PV system in the future is also increasingly commonplace.
In general, robust roofs with extended warranties are the best candidates for PV systems. While a normal roof may only experience light foot traffic from the building owner or maintenance personnel a few times a year, a PV installation may need more frequent inspections (i.e. after significant storms or heavy snowfall, monitoring, etc.). So starting out with a thicker membrane, a cover board, and walkway pads are a must.
It’s important that the PV array does not interfere with the roof’s drainage. This may mean some of the array will have to be supported by structural steel tubing or piping in lieu of traditional racking (which may rest on the roof utilizing ballast).
It’s important to leave room for roofers to inspect or repair seams and flashings, so it may be necessary to raise the height of the array as not to obstruct roof penetrations.
Always verify the type of PV array system to be installed on your roof and coordinate with your local Carlisle Field Service Representative (FSR) to assess the new or existing roof’s condition prior to beginning any work.
Consult the SOLAReady Specification
on the Carlisle SynTec website at or contact Craig Tyler