Passive Solar Design Information
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Examples of Passive Solar Architecture

There are thousands of examples of passive solar buildings.  Passive solar technology has been around as long as man has needed shelter, but only since the energy crisis of the 1970s has it become studied and actively used in everyday buildings such as homes and offices.  Many passive solar buildings also incorporate other environmentally friendly principles.

On every interesting building is a dormitory built by the Colorado Rocky Mountain School.  The design incorporates all the passive solar concepts that were used at the time so that it would be able to serve in an educational role.  The building includes Trombe walls, water walls, direct gain spaces, a solarium, and a passive hot water heater.  The building is built into a hill to take advantage of the earth's natural insulating properties.  The building's power comes from a wind generator which stores power in batteries which take up one room in the building.  More info...

One increasingly common type of 'green' building is the straw bale home, many of which incorporate passive and active solar technology.  Check out these straw bale homes:

Straw Bale House in Oregon

Straw Bale Construction in the Colorado Rockies

50 Straw Bale House Plans; all of which include passive solar principles in their designs.

Construction Photos of this Passive Solar Straw Bale House in Silver City, Nevada.

Here is a page about passive solar buildings that are made of recycled automobile tires.  They call them Earthships


The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives has a great page on passive solar buildings.

The Sustainable Building Sourcebook has a section devoted to Passive Solar Design.

Sun Angle: find the angles of the sun at any given place for a certain time of day or year.

The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development

Solar News: a great source for articles and information on all types of solar energy


Sustainable Sources:

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives:

Cook, Jeffrey.  Award-Winning Passive Solar Designs, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1984.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The First Passive Solar Home Awards, Franklin Research Center, Philadelphia, PA, January 1979.

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