Passive Solar Design

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Passive Solar Design ITT Technical Institute
Cap Stone [ April 6, 2012 ]

Passive Solar Design
Passive solar homes are houses designed to use the suns energy to heat the home. With this design it is also easy to cool these homes. The design has been around since men have walked the earth. It is so basic that it often gets over looked by architectural designers today. With the price of fossil fuel, and global warming, we can no longer over look this housing design. Our ancestors, who did not have fossil fuels or electricity, had a better knowledge of passive solar design than most people today. The best example of this is the Anasazi people who lived in southwestern U.S. (Kennedy, J. F., Smith, M. G., & Wanek, C. 2002, p.26). They carved their homes in rock ledges with huge over-hangs, the reason for doing this was that in the summer the sun is higher in the sky, and the over-hangs would block the sun and keep their homes cooler. When the sun is lower in the sky during the winter the sun directly hits these homes to heat them. These homes were made out of thick stone and when the suns light hit the stone walls its heat would be stored in the rock, and when the sun went down at night the rock released the heat and kept the homes warm in the cooler night air. In the summer these homes had the exact opposite reaction. With a little work and some public awareness these ancient designs with a modern twist could be the homes of our future.
The most important part of a passive solar home is location. “A solar house uses trees, hills, and the varying angles from which the sun strikes a home” (Kachadorian, J. 1997 p.23).The ideal piece of property for these homes would have a rolling hill on the north side of the property. This is so you can put the back side of the house in the earth to protect it from the cold northern winds in the winter. The main part of the house should be facing the south, because it gets the most sun exposure. On the south



References: Freeman, M. (1994). The solar home: how to design and build a house you heat with the sun. Mechanicsburg, Pa: Stackpole Books. Evan though this book was written in 1994 it was full of facts and good information. The book gave ideas from the design stage all the way to applying the curtains on the window. The author had a vast knowledge of solar design Grau, P. A., Muller, E. J., & Fausett, J. G. (2009). Architectural drawing and light construction (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall. This text book is a very easy read and full of great information. Chapter 15 was all about design and gave great ideas on heat sinks and other methods of heating homes. This book sparked my interest in the passive solar design. Kachadorian, J. (1997). The passive solar house. White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green Pub. Co. The book is full of design ideas as well as everything you need to know about a passive solar home. It is full of charts and work sheets giving sun position for month and location on the earth. This is the only book you need to find about passive solar building and design. Kennedy, J. F., Smith, M. G., & Wanek, C. (2002). The Art of natural building: design, construction, resources. Canada: New Society Publishers. The book gave great back ground information and has a vast knowledge of naturally built homes. It gives reasons for building naturally compares costs and how they will make the owner in the long run. Waterfield, P. (2007). The energy efficient home: a complete guide. Ramsbury UK: Crowood. This book is full of great colored pictures and diagrams to help with the technical language of this book. It had great concepts on combining active and passive solar design. Most of the location charts were for the UK but the rest of the information was for any place. It is full of great tips for insulating and adding sustainable back up heat systems.

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