Dedicated to programs that introduce communities and individuals to solar energy through the sculptural arts

54 Weeks


Time: 0 weeks. Whether your site is public, private, corporate, institutional site, many factors will affect your choice of a location to site your Solar Tree. When considering a Solar Tree for your site, we need you to think about a south facing exposure and few additional characteristics of your site before you engage us. We want to make sure that we can transport and install your modules without bulldozing a new road or having to haul your Solar Tree by helicopter (doable, but REALLY expensive). Topographically-speaking, we can install your Solar Tree any place you would situate a regular house: a flat lot, hillside, or on a raised foundation-provided our crane can access the site and our trucks can navigate all of the turns. To ensure that we can reach the property, the roads should be wider than twenty-five feet, with no severe curves or slopes. And since the crane's long boom needs room to move, we also need to know about any low-hanging tree limbs and pesky power lines that could get in the way of installing your Solar Tree.. Beyond transport and installation concerns, the site you choose is important because of its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) impact. As you may be aware, we are committed to building homes that achieve at least a Silver Level of LEED Certification; and since almost one third of the LEED points relate to the site, you'll want to check with us on how your potential site rates before buying.


Time: 2 weeks. You have selected a site and think a Solar Tree will work wonderfully. We evaluate the site to make sure it's feasible for a Solar Tree. Working with specialized sculpture transportation and crane companies, we evaluate the route to your site. Together, we prepare an Access Study, mapping and discussing road configurations, power lines, trees, low bridges and overhangs, slopes, and elevation changes that could affect transportation or installation. Depending on your location, we'll identify a nearby staging area where we'll park the modules on delivery day. Why all the homework? We want to ensure the smooth and timely delivery of your Solar Tree.

Concept Development

Time: 9 weeks. Now the real fun begins. You'll work with Rein and a Solar Tree Project Engineer to develop a preliminary concept, design, budget and schedule for the fabrication and installation of your Solar Tree. The Rein will develop the concept and maquette of the your Solar Tree. The engineer delivers structural drawings and electrical schematic to tie your Solar Tree for your approval. + school program.

Design Development

Time: 15 weeks. Your Solar Tree can express your sense of beauty and style, even as it fulfills your changing needs. Our belief in the need for a healthier environment-both inside the home and on the planet-motivates our design philosophy and practice. The custom options available include the best, longest-lasting materials, products, systems and finishes to safeguard your health and reduce the ecological footprint of your home. . Working with Rein, Solar Artist and Solar Energy Experts, you refine and specify your landscape to reflect your needs and aesthetic sensibilities. Simultaneously, we work with structural, mechanical and electrical engineers to complete the design and then send this design to contractors for a preliminary budget. Over the course of two meetings, we work with you to plan your LEED program, insuring that your Solar Tree achieves at least Silver Certification. We also discuss options to help your Solar Tree secure even higher levels - perhaps Platinum like the first Solar Tree. Perhaps adding automated sun-tracking system to improve the efficiency of the Solar Tree array. . During this design phase, we want to look at your lighting needs and interest in special design. If you wish to select custom decorative lighting, feel free to include your favorite modern flood lamps in the plan; or we can provide lighting design and landscape services, billed separately. . Once you've made all of your landscaping decisions, we provide you with a revised project budget estimate. Again, this budget is still for estimation purposes. We can only determine the final budget when the contractors and fabricators have given us their final prices for the project. Once the engineering design is complete, we prepare a permit package to submit to all the relevant government entities.


Time: 2 weeks. Once we have defined the design and modifications, we can give you a more focused price for the project. As with other custom building projects, we can only give you an exact price for a solar sculpture with complete fabrication documents for a specific sculpture, as variables in design, materials and foundation requirements affect total cost. We include the following in the cost of our sculpture with signed fixed price contracts.

  • Concept Design
  • Project Development
  • Travel
  • Insurance
  • Engineering
  • Materials / Fabrication
  • Metal Finishing
  • Shipping to site
  • Installation


Excluded are obtaining permits and permit fees if needed, running electrical line to site for lighting and grid tied solar systems, lighting design, landscape design. These items add value to the project As the owner, you can join our staff when necessary at meetings with planners and permitting authorities.At this point, you may want to interview general contractor candidates for the foundation and sitework portion of your project, or if you want to use Solar Trees for Construction Management, we charge an hourly fee for this service.


Time: 8 weeks. We rely on you to secure your own funding. However, we do have preferred fundraisers who we can introduce to clients. Unlike other sculpture projects, we have an affiliation with the Solar Tree Project, LLC – ASCI a registered 501.c3, we can offer tax donations to donors. As the construction of your Solar Trees project progresses, your contract administrator will disburses payments to us. Typically, you can expect to payments due: 30% of the fix fee on signing the contract. 25 % of the fix fee due on completion of the conceptual design deliverables and written scope of the work, with acceptance of the contract administrator. 25% of the fix fee is due when the Solar Tree is 100% fabricated in the Studio. The contract administrators may be provided with photographic documentation, or arrange for a physical inspection of the art work.


Time: 16 Weeks. Can't believe it's real? You can visit and see your Solar Tree coming to life. Or log on to your own personal homepage on our client site where we post weekly progress reports and photos. We coordinate all the activities associated with the fabrication of your modules at our studio facility, including coordinating with the solar engery experts, fabricators, shippers installers in charge of site work and foundation, resolving any design issues, and maintaining oversight and quality-control during the fabrication process. If you change your mind about certain details, we can manage any change. (Changes are expensive and can delay your project, though, so hopefully you don't change your mind).

Foundation / Site Preparation

Time: 16 Weeks – to run concurrent with Fabrication. If you engage your own general contractor for the foundation and sitework, Solar Trees will provide them with a full sets of construction drawings for their use. We charge an hourly fee for attending site meetings as does the lead engineer (if required) and for answering RFIs. Your contractor will need to coordinate with the structural engineers to arrange for necessary site visits. We'll come back out to check the embed plate placement prior to the final pour, and then again after the pour. This is an important step, as Solar Trees has very exacting requirements for the foundation upon which we install our sculpture. If they are not followed precisely, we may not be able to properly install the Solar Tree.. As an option, Solar Trees can provide you with Construction Project Management, a turnkey solution that includes securing bids for all foundation work, selecting and engaging the general contractor, and completing the construction of the foundation. We continue to work with outside entities, cooperating with all utilities, permitting and inspection agencies, handling matters an owner would normally manage. We coordinate with the solar module fabrication facility, managing the preparations for the delivery and installation of your Solar Tree.. We meet with you regularly, recording minutes and charting progress against schedule and budget for your review. At the same time, we manage the construction of the foundations and the other sitework necessary to receive the sculpture. We also address any construction issues that may arise from drawing changes, unforeseen conditions, fabrication clarifications, or owner-generated requests, making sure you approve any increase in costs before they are incurred.


Time: 1 day. On the day of the installation, the crane sets up in morning; then a truck arrives with Solar Tree trunk branchs and solar modules. By end of day, your Solar Tree is in place. During that happy day, we transport your Solar Tree from the studio to the site prepared to receive it. Solar Tree installation experts secures transportation permits if needed. We'll even get aviation permits if there's an airport nearby. (The cranes can be very tall!)


Time: 4 weeks. Once we've installed the modules, there are still a few important things left to do. First, we need to connect your Solar Tree to the outside world. We will assist you with selecting a qualified electrician to hook up your photovoltaic system on your Solar Tree to the grid. Your power meter runs in reverse.

Landscape / Lighting

Finishing touches on the landscaping and lighting. We do offer both landscaping and lighting design services.

Photographic Documentation

Solar tree sculptures make a powerful environmental statement. Hand-signed, numbered, solar tree sculptures by environmental artist Rein Triefeldt are engineered to produce energy for your home or business. Information.
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