Harnessing the Sun: Using Passive Solar Site Orientation and Thermal Mass
When people think about using the Sun to conserve energy, the only things they ever think about are solar panels. However, there is a way to maximise your house so that it takes advantage of where the Sun is at that time. This process is called Passive Solar. By designing a house in a certain way, heat can be contained during the Winter and repeled during the Summer. This is created by having large windows facing the south to catch the low, Winter Sun. There is also an extension of the roof that blocks the high, Summer Sun. That allows the heat to get into the house during the Winter months only.
This process is furthered by the use of floors with Thermal Mass. These floors are specifically designed to absorb all of the heat coming in from the Sun and dissipating it slowly through the house. This is conserving tons of free energy within the house, which will save the occupants money on heating. They will also save money on cooling in the Summer since heat will be rejected during those months.
Passive Solar is incredibly efficient for the environment on top of being cost effective. Using the natural energies of the Sun is a great way to protect the environment from unnecessary emissions. This design is proof houses can be built in an intelligent way that benefits the occupants and the environment.