The Passive Solar House

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Overview

This book offers a technique for building homes that heat and cool themselves in a wide range of different climates, using ordinary building materials available anywhere and with methods familiar to all building contractors and many do-it-yourselfers. A formerly patented design for author James Kachadorian's Solar Slab heat exchanger is now available for the use of anyone motivated by the desire to build a house that needs a backup furnace or air conditioner rarely if ever. This is a building book for the next ...
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Overview

This book offers a technique for building homes that heat and cool themselves in a wide range of different climates, using ordinary building materials available anywhere and with methods familiar to all building contractors and many do-it-yourselfers. A formerly patented design for author James Kachadorian's Solar Slab heat exchanger is now available for the use of anyone motivated by the desire to build a house that needs a backup furnace or air conditioner rarely if ever. This is a building book for the next century. Applicable to a diversity of regions, climates, budgets, and styles of architecture, Kachadorian's techniques translate the essentials of timeless solar design (siting a home in harmony with nature, using windows as solar collectors, achieving year-round comfort by balancing good insulation with healthy supplies of fresh air) into practical wisdom for today's new generation of solar builders.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Published in concert with the Real Goods Trading Company of California, this book explains in detail the whys and wherefores of a particular form of passive solar design, formerly patented but now in the public domain. The patent was held by the author and used while he was president of Green Mountain Homes, a fabricator of post-and-beam kit homes. The science he used and describes here is settled and elegant, even quaint, and is detailed to a degree that could be off-putting to some readers. On the bright side, the enthusiasm he brings to the subject is useful, even to those prospective homebuilders who may not be interested in solar heating and cooling. The book is suffused with a sensitivity to environmental issues of all sorts, a useful perspective in these resource-limited times. An essentially simple book, elegant in presentation and forceful in argument; recommended for extensive scientific (for the references and associated calculations) and/or broader home-building collections.Alexander Hartmann, INFOPHILE, Williamsport, Pa.
Booknews
Describes a technique for building homes that heat and cool themselves using ordinary building materials and methods familiar to building contractors and do-it-yourselfers. Explains how to build and use the author's formerly patented design for a solar heat exchanger built into the foundation of a house, with chapters on the passive solar concept, basic solar design, insulation and venting, basic layouts and floor plans, backup heating and cooling, and interior design. Includes many b&w photos, diagrams, and plans, plus useful calculations, formulas, and worksheets, and reference appendices of thermal properties of materials and temperature and latitude statistics for selected cities in the US and Canada. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780930031978
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Series: Real Goods Independent Living Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 8.01 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Let Nature Heat Your Home 2
2 The Passive Solar Concept 14
3 The Solar Slab and Basic Solar Design 24
4 Insulation, Venting, and Fresh Air 42
5 Basic Layouts and Floor Plans 54
6 How to Do the Solar Design Calculations 62
7 The Foundation Plan, and Backup Heating and Cooling 92
8 A Sidehill Variation, and Solar Design Worksheets 112
9 Sunspaces, and Special Design Considerations 136
10 Interior Design for Year-Round Comfort 148
App. 1 Solar Design Worksheets 160
App. 2 Solar Intensity and Solar Heat Gain Factors for 16 to 64 degrees North Latitude 175
App. 3 Thermal Properties of Typical Building and Insulating Materials (Design Values) 183
App. 4 North Latitude, Elevation, and Outside Winter Design Temperatures for Selected Cities in the U.S. and Canada 186
App. 5 Average Monthly and Yearly Degree Days for Cities in the U.S. and Canada 192
App. 6 Mean Percentage of Possible Sunshine for Selected Cities in the U.S. and Canada 199
App. 7 Isogonic Chart (Magnetic Declination) 205
Index 207
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2001

    A tale of two books

    The book's author is an engineer with considerable experience. In the first 60-70 pages he does a great job explaining the basic concepts and ideas of how the house works. After page 70 though, the author pulls out his slide rule and begins going through all the caluclations of how to figure out how much heat will be required for the house, how much of it you can expect to get from the sun in your part of the country. Engineers, architects and builders should find this a very valuable guide with all the charts and tables included.

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