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Buildings 2013, 3(4), 659-673; doi:10.3390/buildings3040659

Framing the Sun and Buildings as Commons

Received: 7 August 2013; in revised form: 3 September 2013 / Accepted: 13 September 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Conscious Architecture)
Download PDF [1339 KB, uploaded 25 September 2013]
Abstract: This study frames integration of Solar Energy Conversion Systems (SECS) with the built environment, addressing on-site limitations for resource allocation in the urban context. The Sun, buildings, and solar technologies are investigated as resource systems within Ostrom’s framework of the commons and shared governance, with associated goods (as resource units) appropriated from light conversion (products of daylight, heat, power, shade, money). Light is transient and unevenly distributed across the hours of the day across the year. Building surfaces utilized to convert light into useful products such as electricity are often “area-constrained” and cannot provide total power to all occupants in urban structures. Being unevenly distributed over time and being area-constrained makes the appropriated goods from the solar resource system scarce to commercial buildings and multi-family residences. Scarce commodities require management strategies to distribute the variable returns derived from technologies such as PV and solar hot water. The balance between sustainable urban communities and limited surface area to deliver solar products to all occupants will soon drive communities to consider how the solar goods are managed and allocated. Examples demonstrate management of solar resource and associated goods through collective actions of local communities via utility sponsored models, solar gardens, and crowd-sourced investment.
Keywords: solar; common pool resource; solar utility solar; common pool resource; solar utility
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Brownson, J.R.S. Framing the Sun and Buildings as Commons. Buildings 2013, 3, 659-673.

AMA Style

Brownson JRS. Framing the Sun and Buildings as Commons. Buildings. 2013; 3(4):659-673.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brownson, Jeffrey R.S. 2013. "Framing the Sun and Buildings as Commons." Buildings 3, no. 4: 659-673.

Buildings EISSN 2075-5309 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert