Pre-engineered metal building combined with cool metal roofing products and renewable energy systems can earn tax credits for building owners. For renewable energy systems, incentives can take the form of federal and local tax credits.
Although there may be differences in their rating system, Energy Star, the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system and the Green Building Council’s LEED system, both recognize the ability of on-site renewable energy systems for significantly reducing a building’s energy consumption.
For example, owners of commercial pre-engineered metal buildings can earn federal tax credits if they make use of qualified solar water-heating, photovoltaic systems, and certain solar-lighting systems. The equipment installed must harness energy from the sun to generate electricity or to heat or cool or provide hot water to pre-engineered metal buildings. For each tax year, the credit is for 30 percent of the cost of the installation with a maximum benefit of $2,000 for photovoltaic systems and $2,000 for solar water heating systems.
Pre-engineered metal buildings that use standing-seam metal roofs, sloped roofs, or siding with appropriate solar orientation can be used to install photovoltaic or solar thermal systems. This saves on additional racking and installation costs.
Basically, there are three types of solar water heaters, the flat-plate collector, the ICS or batch system, and the evacuated-tube solar collector. The type of solar water heater best for pre-engineered metal buildings is the ICS or batch system. The Integrated Collector Storage or Batch Solar technology is an old, tested and very simple technology.
The system combines a solar collector and a storage tank into one single unit. In simple terms, a batch heater is just a water tank inside a glazed box, placed in a sun-facing surface. Batch collectors do not involve pumps and storage tanks. The water is heated in the collector and no pump is used to move the water. However, the technology should not be used in pre-engineered metal buildings located in areas with freezing and very hot climates.
Another energy saving system appropriate for pre engineered metal buildings is skylights. Skylights provide natural ventilation and lighting. Qualified or rated skylights are a guarantee of energy performance for metal buildings for different climate zones.