Passive solar design is a building specification which allows windows, walls, and floors to collect, store, and distribute (in the winter) or reject (in the summer) solar energy in the form of heat. Passive solar buildings range from those heated almost entirely by the sun to those that provide some fraction of the heating load. While passive solar designs are most easily installed during initial construction, existing buildings can be retrofitted to utilize these techniques after-the-fact.
Passive solar design not only reduces the costs of both heating and cooling, but also produces long-term savings for your building or workplace. Unlike active solar heating systems (which also provide savings and cost-reduction), passive solar design doesn’t involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices. Like all types of renewables, it too reduces the demand on the state and regional power grids, improving reliability and minimizing the likelihood of disruptions in power supply.
Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice
- Boston Housing Authority
- John Hancock
- Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance
Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates
- U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Financial Opportunities for Business, Industry, and Universities
- U.S. Department of Energy – Loan Guarantee Program
Examples of Passive Solar Design
A Small Sample of Some Passive Solar Designers in the Boston area
- U.S. Department of Energy: Outline of Renewable Energy Incentives
- Passive Design: How to Use Landscaping for Shading
- Green Building Advisor: Design Strategies