Rethink Your Life!
Finance, health, lifestyle, environment, philosophy
The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] New German passive solar homes

howard at howard at
Tue Dec 30 17:59:22 CST 2008

I applaud anyone making the case for passive solar design, certainly, but it is a bit maddening when the press takes a subject such as passive solar homes and treats it like news, important yes, but news?  The press with its insistence on not doing "advocacy journalism" has been a major road block to these being implemented broadly.  Instead of following their development and repeating the history with articles about the many built here in the US and how much they save and the other benefits, they ignore it.  Then every few years they have an article about one and treat it as news.

Passive Solar, or Regional Climatic Design has been well researched and many successful homes built and many more could be, its not complicated. It is really only about orientation and arranging the materials in the proper way.  I did my first one in 1980, and we did The Farm school that way in 82.  They work great. The Rocky Mountain Institute did one some years later.  Passive Solar Design shows up in the design of Greek cities, after they denuded the landscape of fuel, and again in Rome, after it got too expensive to keep hauling wood from the forests of North Africa.  In the 1950s you could by a passive solar home kit in the US.  Passive Solar Design needs to become convention at last, once and for all.

Also, the heat exchange/ventilator they are raving about(heats incoming fresh air with out-going warm stale air) has been available in the US for decades, many are made for large industrial applications but home scale units are available though a bit expensive.  I tell my clients just to open all the windows and doors on a sunny day for a little while to vent.  Of course that requires someone to do something. :-)

please pardon the rant....if you would,

Howard 'angry greenman' Switzer, Architect
668 Hurricane Creek Road
Linden, TN 37096