23 Dec '11, 11am

Direct-Gain Passive Solar

Direct-Gain Passive Solar

function is most effective with high-mass materials, such as tile or concrete floors, fireplaces with brick or stone facings, and tinted plaster walls. These materials keep the space from getting too hot during the day, and they continue radiating warmth into the living space in the evening. The key to success with direct-gain passive solar heating is to provide the right amount of south-facing glass area and to couple that glass with adequate thermal mass. If too much glazing is installed, the space will overheat on sunny days. The better insulated the house, the less glazing can be installed before overheating becomes a concern. Back when I was involved in passive solar energy in the late-1970s in New Mexico, there were lots of examples of houses being built with the best of intentions, but with way too much south-facing glass. They were like greenhouses on sunny days an...

Full article: http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2011/2/22/Dir...

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On August 28th Tropical Storm Irene flooded downtown Brattleboro, totally submerging Flat Street. Photo: Charlie Boswell. ...