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How The Edmonton Convention Centre Became Canada’s Largest BIPV System (So Far)

Edmonton Convention Centre Interior View

Edmonton Convention Centre Interior View

Edmonton Convention Centre Photovoltaic Skylight Poetic Message Interior View

Edmonton Convention Centre Photovoltaic Skylight Poetic Message Interior View

Edmonton Convention Centre Photovoltaic Skylight Poetic Message Exterior View

Edmonton Convention Centre Photovoltaic Skylight Poetic Message Exterior View

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, December 8, 2020 / -- The Edmonton Convention Centre Atrium upgrade is now complete. This way, the Canadian city joins the already extensive list of partners that produce their own clean energy thanks to Belnor Engineering’s Onyx Solar photovoltaic glass. The building upgrade will produce 227,000 kWh each year and will help improve climate insulation in the city’s extreme temperatures.

The installation of our glass is part of the rehabilitation project for the roof of the main atrium designed by DIALOG. The atrium’s cover was built 35 years ago and had serious insulation problems. The installation has in total 1,566 m2 (16,856 sqft).

This project makes a statement about the Centre’s sustainable ambitions and includes a poetic message for visitors to the Centre and the river valley.

The pattern of the cells opens up to a circular oculus with lines of Morse code that spell out a poem. It is an excerpt of Gifts of a River by E.D. Blodgett, a former Edmonton Poet Laureate, that reads:

“Beginnings just appear so like a drowsy eye
Suddenly awake where a river wells up
Uncoiling from the ice where snug beside the land
It lay dreaming at our feet in quiet sleep.”

The poem is legible from left to right within the atrium, but the visual appeal extends outside and across the valley.

The new solar cells will convert sunlight into clean electricity while maintaining the transparency of the Centre’s current glass atrium. All 696 sloped panels on the atrium have been replaced. Even with the PV cells covering approximately 50% of the surface, more light is getting through to the atrium compared to the previous tinted panels.

It is estimated that more than 200 Megawatt-hours of electricity will be generated each year and that the panels will reduce anticipated greenhouse gas emissions by over 150,000 kg.

The city of Edmonton is one of the leaders of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, a global coalition of municipal pioneers committed to the fight against climate change. All these mayors acknowledge the importance of decreasing CO2 emissions and they are encouraging the incorporation of innovative technologies and solutions within their cities. More than 10,000 cities of 60 countries around the world have committed to the pact, totaling 320 million people.

Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton, signed along with Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission for the Green Deal, and Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy previously mentioned.

Precisely in the presentation that Frans Timmermans made during COP25 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change) on the Green Deal, he spoke of the urgent need to reform all buildings in Europe, so that they generate their own renewable energy and have better insulation and thus be neutral in emissions by 2050.


Energy cost: <0,05€
Internal Rate of Return: 9.4%
Payback: <9 years
Total Area: 1,566 m2
Electricity generated in 35 years: 5,389,414 kWh
Total lighting points operating 4 hours per day in 35 years: 10,569 lighting points
CO2 emissions avoided in 35 years: 3,611 Tons of CO2
Barrels of oil saved in 35 years: 3,171 barrels per m2


Belnor Engineering is the official multiple consecutive award-winning distributor of innovative architectural products around the globe. At the forefront of sustainability for over three decades, Belnor Engineering specializes in laboratory & building automation & controls, IAQ & HVAC systems, renewable energy & architectural solutions, technical services, and green & healthy building consulting — building green cities one green building at a time. For more information, contact Belnor Engineering and don’t forget to read their groundbreaking Sustainability Manifesto: Decade Of 2020.

Supriya Verma
Belnor Engineering
+1 905-264-6372
email us here
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Edmonton Convention Centre Photovoltaic Skylight