PV trees were a concept that developer Mitch Gleaser sought to extend the impact of PV panels as both a utilitarian and iconic element in the landscape – as a tree.

Project Objective

Located on US 441 just south of Alachua, Florida, he is developing a live, work, play community in his sustainable manufacturing facility. 

We studied the potential of adapting the ‘tree’ metaphor to provide a visual marker, shade in the harsh sun of North Florida, and to utilize, to the extent possible, off-the-shelf materials that would include, a commonly available solar panel, galvanized pipe, and simple attachment mechanisms that could be easily locally fabricated.

Solar Frame: 3 Point

Project Development

In studying the tree concept, we developed a simplified tree proposal with two alternative approaches.  One, that minimized the number of elements (a directive to keep the costs down).  And two, a scheme that utilized panels and water catchment to shade the façade from the harsh western sun.  In all three schemes, we sought to offer an iconic image to those passing by at 60 mph on US 441, to become an extension of the architecture of the manufacturing plant, and of course to add to the photovoltaic (PV) generation of electricity.

Proposed Schemes

Solar Canopy

Solar Tree: South

Solar Frame: 3 Point

Solar Frame: 5 Point

Solar Canopy: Light