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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Passive Solar

When researching building straw bale homes, we learned about passive solar energy. Our dream of building a straw bale home may have come to an end because of the cost and our small budget.  We are hanging onto the hope that we can build some straw bale structures (coop/shed/barn) where ever we may move and continue to work toward our "dream straw bale home."

What is passive solar?  It is the use of the sun to help meet a building's energy needs by means of architectural design such as arrangement of windows and materials such as floors that store heat, or other thermal mass. What this means is that you don't need any other heat source like propane, it uses sunlight only.

Instructions on how to build a passive solar greenhouse.

Passive solar barn.

Passive solar chicken coop.



Stephen Palmer said...

This is essentially an earthship design. Have you heard of them?


Unknown said...


Thanks for the link, I've never heard of this before, very fascinating! I can't wait to read up on this even more.

Stephen Palmer said...

Yeah, they're pretty amazing. At one point my wife and I were sold on building one, but that was before we heard about Agricultural Urbanism...

Check out the documentary "Garbage Warrior."


And on Netflix:


Laura @ Getting There said...

Interesting. I didn't realize strawbale was an expensive option--I thought it was one of the cheaper methods of home building. But then, I haven't seriously researched it!

-Sydney- said...

A good movie to check out is called "Building with Awareness." You might be able to find it at a local library. It talks about many passive means to conserve energy and resources.

Unknown said...

Stephen and Sydney, I just put both your movies in my Netflix queue, thanks for the suggestions!

Laura, Michael and I were really surprised to find out that it was more expensive to build a strawbale home as well! We had always heard how inexpensive it was. I think if you build a super small home and do the majority of the work yourself it would be inexpensive.