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CSA publishes SPE-900 guideline for rooftop solar PV systems



September 26, 2013 – CSA has published SPE-900 “Solar photovoltaic rooftop-installation best practices guideline” to address, it says, a need in the Canadian marketplace for guidance on solar PV rooftop installations, as PV modules are not currently addressed in many of the building codes.

The guideline outlines best practices and addresses issues such as structural analysis of the building and racking, water penetration, and health & safety issues impacting installers and first responders. Because solar PV electrical issues are addressed by the CEC Part I, the guideline does not duplicate these requirements, but rather points the user to the relevant sections of the code, notes CSA.

The document also examines different roofing materials and systems, including membranes, standing-seam metal roofing, steel high-rib roofing, steel shingle, asphalt, tile, slate, cedar shakes and green roofs. Also considered are the structural systems and type of building materials (e.g., wood-frame rafters and joists, prefabricated wood trusses, structural steel beams and joists, and other systems in steel, masonry, concrete and wood).