The value and versatility of solar panels as an environmentally effective and practical construction product will be highlighted in a unique way this month with the completion of a building in West London partially soundproofed by the PV system.London, England – June 9, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] One hundred and seventy four solar panels, developed by BP Solar, have been incorporated into the roof design of a new church hall at St Mary’s in Osterley, Hounslow. What is special about the design of the building is that solar panels are being used for the first time in the UK to provide roof sound insulation and will, in theory, reduce the amount of resonant sound passing through the structure which is located under the Heathrow flightpath, said BP solar. In terms of aircraft noise pollution, Osterley is one of the worst affected areas in Europe with an aircraft going overhead every 60 seconds. According to the World Health Organization, noise pollution in the area exceeds recommended limits. “This will provide valuable feedback on the performance of the system and the building, allowing other designs of a similar nature in the future to use PV as an acoustic barrier as well as generating electricity,” BP Solar commercial manager Ray Noble. The cost of the solar system is approximately £140,000 (US$229,000) but St Mary’s are receiving up to 80 percent of the installation cost of the PV as part of the UK Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) “Large Scale Field Trial”. The system will also be monitored for performance for the next two years as part of the DTI funding.