A Windsor man has come under fire for what he calls a "solar house."

The structure rises 10 metres — or 32 feet — into the air.

Owner Aleks Stevanov says the project complies with all rules and regulations.

"A single slope is unusual to look at. It’s large," he said. "My lot is 128 feet wide, why can’t I have a 100-foot wide house? I can. It’s permitted."

Albert Schepers, owner of GS Engineering Consultants is working on the project. He calls it "a roof for a roof."

"It’s unique in that the solar panels are to be used as the roofing system. However, it’s a bit experimental," he said. "The roof looks large because it’s projecting in one direction. The back is tall but the front of the home is actually quite short, no different than a single family residence.

Some neighbours call it an eyesore, and worry it will lower the value of their homes.

Greig Howe lives in the neighbourhood. He says it does not belong in a residential area.

"It's definitely an eyesore, and it's going to drive down the property values. It's just a spectacle," Howe said. "It looks like an industrial building in the middle of a residential neighbourhood, and as far as we know, it's all legal.

"We don’t have a concern with solar panels on a house and making money off the grid. But this is an extreme case. It’s just too big. It’s too industrial-like."

Stevanov says the structure complies with city bylaws, and could be the way of the future.

"If we could make more people see the value in solar roofs, what we're trying to develop is a roof that they can drop on their regular house," Stevanov said. "Engineers would come out, do a survey, a roof would be designed with solar panels and dropped on to their roof. Now, I think it would be nice to have a whole street with solar roofs."

Stevanov says the project is costing him $500,000.

Once it's finished, he says he will be able to generate enough electricity to power a small store.

"I’m building this for my family and as a business venture. This is the right solution to shingles that are landfill destined," Stevanov said. "We’re going to pay a lot more for electricity in 10 and 15 years and 20 years.

"We’re trying to develop a roof you can drop onto a regular roof. I think it’d be nice to see a whole street of solar roofs."


  • A previous version of this story said the solar roof extends 10 metres over the roof. In fact, it extends 10 metres into the air.
    Dec 11, 2014 1:43 PM ET