Window technology has advanced a great deal in recent years, compared to traditional standards. Low-e coatings, double- and triple-glazing and noble gases in air space all help improve energy efficiency.
You are here
Whatever type of foundation you lay for your home, and regardless of whether you're building a passive solar design or a traditional house, it is very important (especially for passive homes) to keep the foundations and their insulation as dry as possible. Moisture around the foundations is bad.
Physics is the science that defines how the physical world is structured and how each part of it interacts with all the others. Unfortunately, it's an incredibly complicated science because of this. The world is a very complex machine, after all!
As far as solar designers are concerned, there are some very basic laws of physics that must be understood. If you are a newbie in the solar energy field, here's a brief primer for you.
If you're thinking of building your own home or work in the construction industry, you need to know about "natural conditioning". Otherwise known under a variety of names, such as "passive solar" and "day-lighting", this is the practice of designing and building a home so that it works to reduce your heating bills by optimizing natural heating and cooling.
One of the best innovations for passive solar homes are ICFs – Insulating Concrete Forms. At first glance, they look like a lazy way to build foundations because they are simple and lightweight, they snap together, and it's more like playing with Lego than building a house. The good news is that, despite their apparent ease, they create one of the best insulated foundations possible.
As you research passive solar home design, you may run into the term "sun-tempered" for homes. A sun-tempered home is a sort of "halfway house" option, rather than the whole-hog option of true passive solar design. Let's look at how the two compare:
Most engineers call it "integrated design", but green systems installers like to use the word "holistic" because it rings of holistic therapy, holistic medicine and other natural alternatives that work just as well as their traditional counterparts. But what is it?