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Enhancing the appearance of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) through the application of traditional symbols: a case study.

Awuku, Samuel Amo; Bennadji, Amar; Muhammad-Sukki, Firdaus; Sellami, Nazmi


Amar Bennadji

Firdaus Muhammad-Sukki

Nazmi Sellami


Over the past years, advanced renewable technologies such as Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) has transformed to become more efficient, reliable, less costly and attractive. A migration to Net-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and push for Green Buildings (GB) is a major driver for the adoption of BIPVs, not only in developed countries, but also in the developing world. Fundamental issues such as cost, aesthetics, technological lock-in, awareness, and socioeconomic barriers have been identified as major hindrances to the advancement of BIPVs especially in developing countries. Understandably, there have been growing concerns about the aesthetics of BIPVs especially as it directly replaces conventional building materials. It has also been established in several studies that symbolism and cultural acceptance have direct impact on architecture. For instance, in Ghana, symbols like "Adinkra" are valued as epitome of beauty, hence replicated on clothes, buildings façades, emblems etc. A hypothetical question is established here; Will replicating traditional symbols such as "Adinkra" on intended building materials such as BIPV for façade and roofing influence its adoption in Ghana and alike countries? This paper establishes and analyze the nexus between traditional design symbols and buildings with the aim of developing a viable design prototype for BIPV developers and installers by drawing from existing literature and design expertise. Here, traditional Ghanaian Adinkra symbols have been used as case study for BIPV application in futuristic buildings. A pilot illustration of a BIPV building with Ghanaian Adinkra symbols have been demonstrated using graphic design software. Traditional Adinkra symbols will have direct bearing on the acceptance and adoption of BIPVs in Ghana, considering the value and cultural attachment Ghanaians have with these symbols. This paper will serve as a resource material for BIPV developers and installers.


AWUKU, S.A., BENNADJI, A. MUHAMMAD-SUKKI, F. and SELLAMI, N. 2022. Enhancing the appearance of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) through the application of traditional symbols: a case study. AIP conference proceedings: proceedings of 3rd International conference on energy and power 2021 (ICEP 2021), 18-20 November 2021, Chiang Mai, Thailand [online], 2681, article 020050. Available from:

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Conference Name 3rd International conference on energy and power 2021 (ICEP 2021)
Conference Location Chiang Mai, Thailand
Acceptance Date Nov 17, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 17, 2022
Publication Date Nov 17, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 18, 2023
Journal AIP conference proceedings
Print ISSN 0094-243X
Electronic ISSN 1551-7616
Publisher AIP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2681
Article Number 020050
ISBN 9780735442573
Keywords Renewable technologies; Net-zero; Green buildings
Public URL


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