The construction industry is relatively slow-moving for new product development and innovation compared to other sectors. Most innovations have been “incremental” in their approach—taking one product with a single function and making it slightly better. Mitrex introduces truly affordable, building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV technology) cladding and glass products. They have dual functions—to clad the building, and generate clean, sustainable solar energy.
Using this line of thinking, developing a product that could provide two or more functions would be very difficult to attain unless you changed the way you approached innovation.
Consider the automobile industry and the electric car. Car companies were stuck with incremental improvements of gasoline-powered cars when the world needed them to move to electric cars. It took a new way of thinking to jolt the car industry into the future by introducing “viable” electric cars. This pulled the market share away from gasoline-powered vehicles.
Mitrex employed radical innovation to change an entire industry that was not moving fast enough to reverse climate change. True innovation like BIPV founded in the need for improvement is challenging, and it requires dedication to see things through.
Mitrex Innovative BIPV Technology
Mitrex BIPV technology employs the same holistic mindset, dedication, and radical innovation methodologies to improve the construction materials market. And because these products are purpose-built, they are priced to compete favourably with traditional cladding and glazing products. This includes precast concrete and ACM panels, balcony railing glass, traditional windows, window walls, and skylights, to name a few.
The construction industry has not widely adopted BIPV technology solar cladding and glass products because they haven’t been functionally integrated into the building envelope. They failed to gain significant market share because of high cost and relatively poor design and aesthetics. Also, a lack of adaptability and flexibility, an inability to customize, long lead times, and slow installation have contributed to slow adoption.
Mitrex’s approach is radically different. Using a holistic approach, it designed BIPV products that would be readily adopted for mainstream applications such as condo and apartment buildings. The functionality of the building material is preserved while additionally offering energy generation. What makes these BIPV products extraordinary are not what they can do, but more importantly, how the business model enabled Mitrex to sell competitively priced turnkey solar solutions. The BIPV products are the same price as traditional competitors selling cladding and glass by the square foot.
Unique Business Models
Mitrex’s business model is unique because it achieves price competitiveness with traditional competitors. This is done by entering into long-term agreements with the building owner to share the energy revenue. In this way, Mitrex generates enough revenue to cover its costs while significantly lowering the electricity costs for the building owner over the length of the 30-year agreement.
Having a competitive price means that developers and building owners would be willing to entertain the idea of “Solar Cladding/Glass”. Mitrex BIPV had to demonstrate that it offered much more than simply price competitiveness. It had to be a better option and have value engineering that would make Mitrex solutions the natural choice. This includes beautiful aesthetics, design versatility, dependability, and rapid installation.
Mitrex’s goal is to be the number one energy microgrid producer in the world by transforming buildings into self-contained power plants. More importantly, it aims to convert more and more sunlit surfaces into dual functioning products that also generate solar energy—from window walls to greenhouses to military applications.