Enjoying Super Shade

May 2, 2022

Solar-powered canopies provide New York Botanical Garden visitors a chance to rest and recharge.

New York City

Visitors to the New York Botanical Garden needed a place where they could seek shade, enjoy a beverage, and charge their mobile devices. To solve the garden’s need for accessible, sheltered outdoor seating, the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and the Botanical Garden turned to Pvilion and their solar-powered shade canopies.


Pvilion was recently recognized for sustainable efforts by The Architecture MasterPrize for outstanding outdoor, sustainable, and overall product design. One of the company’s products—the Quad Pole Solar Sail—was installed in the Botanical Garden. This solution combines a fabric integrated with photovoltaic cells and a powder-coated steel frame. When erected in an area that receives sunlight, the solar sail can offer energy independent from the local electrical power grid. The structures also come with the option to tie into the local grid, either as a consumer or producer of electricity.

According to the manufacturer, “Eight solar canopies were designed, engineered and installed by Pvilion at the New York Botanical Garden, providing ample space to relax while staying socially distanced. As part of New York City’s emission reduction efforts, seven of the canopies contribute energy directly to the city’s power grid. One structure powers a bank of batteries used by the Garden and its visitors to charge their mobile phones and other devices.”

With the recent need to shift activity outside, Pvilion’s technology has become a necessary, quick, and reliable energy-efficient solution for shelter and energy. The structures in the Botanical Garden were erected by a handful of workers and operational within a matter of hours.

“The climate crisis is real and it is urgent, and that is why the City of New York is taking action to reduce carbon emissions and build a more sustainable future,” said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “It is only fitting that the New York Botanical Garden, a place known for its greenery, will be leading the way with green energy technologies.”


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