Passive Solar

Passive Solar

The most effective form of solar heating is to capture sunlight through windows and to store that heat in our concrete floors. We do this while providing overhangs for shade to limit heat gain in the summer. Control of summer heat through shading, window orientation and passive ventilation helps to limit the cooling load. Any backup heating or cooling demand is provided by an extremely small source instead of a conventional HVAC system.

Passive Solar is one component to a Passive House system.  The Passive House system is a very well insulated, virtually airtight building that is primarily heated by passive solar and internal heat gains from occupants, cooking, bathing, electrical equipment, etc. The Passive House Standard is the highest building efficiency standard in the world, with the promise of reducing the energy consumption of buildings by up to 80% while providing superior comfort and air quality – all at minimized additional upfront cost. When coupled with renewable energy systems, such as solar, Passive House puts true zero energy buildings within reach.  If you are interested in the entire system, please look into adding on Passive Cooling, Constant Fresh Air, Highly Insulated, Double or Triple Glazing Windows (dependent upon climate), Slab Foundation and Heat Recovery Ventilation –HRV to your OHOME/C-ROOM.

Environmental Benefits

Passive Solar design is a completely clean energy source. It produces no harmful fumes, pollutants or emissions that can harm the environment. By switching to passive solar, you help lower greenhouse gas levels in the ozone layer. A reduction in greenhouse gases may help slow or negate the effects of global warming, which is expected to impact all living things on earth. Fewer emissions also help keep the air clear and free of smog and other harmful pollutants.

Health and / or Social Benefits

Health problems linked to aging coal-fired power plants shorten nearly 24,000 lives a year, including 2,800 from lung cancer. The threat of climate change and the risks related to our dependence on petroleum are among the greatest threats we face as a nation and as a species. Shifting to sustainable construction practices such as Passive Solar reduces CO2 emissions and can save lives by eliminating the demand for coal-fired power plants.

Economic Benefits

The Passive Solar approach reduces construction costs through energy efficient design.  Adding Passive Solar dramatically increasing the energy efficiency of a building and the HVAC system can be downsized or even eliminated (dependent upon climate). This efficiency “sweet spot” is a basis for the Passive Solar performance standard and the key to its financial feasibility.  Additionally, much smaller solar systems are required to reach zero energy; this saves costs both upfront and annually for the lifetime of the OHOME/C-ROOM. Incorporating passive solar design elements into buildings and homes can reduce heating bills by as much as 50%. Daylighting, a component of many Passive Solar designs, is one of the most cost-effective means of reducing energy usage in buildings.