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Protection of historic monuments
Solar roof tiles from the Firma Laumanns, Brueggen
Solar roof tiles from the Firma Laumanns, Brueggen, as an aesthetic alternative to conventional photovoltaic systems.

The protection of historic buildings, districts and monuments should preserve the ownership of cultural goods and property, and more specifically, it should protect against destruction or changes brought about by private, commercial, or public interests. The protection can pertain to single objects (i.e. buildings) or to entire ensembles (i.e. districts), and such protected objects are listed in a historical building and district book.

In Germany the protection of historical buildings, districts and monuments is the responsibility of the states (State Monument Bureau); in Austria and Switzerland such protection is covered under federal law. Communities and counties include departments for historical building, monument and district protection in either the building bureau or the planning bureau. City and town statutes offer further protection for historical buildings, monuments and districts at the community level.

Solar power and heating systems of all kinds come into conflict with such protection ordinances or statutes because these systems change the outward appearance of buildings. Every individual case must be closely examined, and the contact person is almost always the corresponding local authority. A party using a solar power or heating system should consider that he usually won’t have problems obtaining a building permit, but could very well have a problem obtaining approval for the appearance of his system because of these protection laws. He should be able to demonstrate that any optical nuisance caused by his system is not considerable and that in today’s world, solar power and heating systems belong to the standard equipment afforded to buildings, just like antennae, noise-preventing windows or garages.

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