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Mon Dec 16, 2013, 01:16 PM

Imagining the U.S. Supreme Court Covered in Solar Panels

Imagining the U.S. Supreme Court Covered in Solar Panels
EMILY BADGER6:00 AM ET


Mapdwell

Last year, we wrote about a sweeping project from the MIT Sustainable Design Lab and the Boston design firm Modern Development Studio that mapped the potential for installing solar power on every square meter of every roof in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT developed algorithms using public flyover LIDAR data to automatically assess each building's suitability by location, angle and surroundings for soaking up the sun's rays.

At the time, the tool looked like a replicable one that could change how we harvest solar power on a community scale. Now, the project's original creators have licensed their technology from MIT and launched a spinoff company, called Mapdwell, that intends to scale this up beyond Cambridge, even beyond solar surveys. A similar and slick interactive platform, they figure, could also educate homeowners and commercial building managers about their potential for other kinds of green roofs, or rainwater collection.

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As with the original Cambridge prototype, it's possible to click on individual buildings within Mapdwell to estimate the cost of building a solar system at that exact location, and the energy savings that would come from it (solar systems already in place in the city are also marked on the map). Washington, like Cambridge, is a low-lying city without the kind of tall skyscrapers that would obscure the sun in many neighborhoods. So there's a lot of potential here.

If we wanted to plaster the Supreme Court with solar panels, the south-facing side of the classical pediment would be the place to put them (bright yellow means good solar potential, brown means you'd be wasting your money):



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More at: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2013/12/imagining-us-supreme-court-covered-solar-panels/7876/

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Reply Imagining the U.S. Supreme Court Covered in Solar Panels (Original post)
kristopher Dec 2013 OP
pscot Dec 2013 #1

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 02:24 PM

1. Very cool

Pair this with Google's mapping capacity and it's maybe a game changer. Put it in the hands of a Federal agency charged with establishing a national solar grid and it could be revolutionary.

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