"The EASY ACCESS to and relatively LOW COST for the fossil FUELS THAT fostered the GROWth of many of these MODERN CITIES seems to have pushed passive solar DESIGNS OUT of the designers' CONSCIOUSNESS. ... FACING a new era of resource limitation, we should TURN TO the sun. Often able TO CUT a heating bill IN HALF, passive solar design takes large strides, whose PATH is clearly LAID by THE PAST, toward SUSTAINABILITY."
Passive Solar Design in the Roman EmpireUrban Sustainability
An elegant science has been forgotten. Techniques of passive solar design, insulation, shading, and natural ventilation that are employed in only a handful of green building projects today were the bread and butter of ancient designers. To stay comfortable, ancient buildings were designed to use the sun. Elegant and simple strategies for passive solar design, such as building orientation and overhangs, can help guide us as we fumble toward sustainability. Using the sun strategically makes buildings that are good for people, the environment, and the future.
The following collection of words, pictures, and punctuation marks will explain the beauty and the potential of passive solar design. Its use in the Roman Empire is displayed because it is one interesting case study on passive solar design among unnumbered examples. As the initial quotation's Greek origins indicate, passive solar design was not invented by Romans, nor did it cease after the fall of the Rome.
The study concludes with an examination of six relatively young cities. Their layouts either preclude passive solar design or are spotted with examples of bad solar design. The easy access to and relatively low cost for the fossil fuels that fostered the growth of many of these modern cities seems to have pushed passive solar design out of the designers' consciousness. The oil crisis in 1973 spurred a fit of publications on passive solar design in the United States (Borasi 2008). Facing a new era of resource limitation, we should turn to the sun. Often able to cut a heating bill in half, passive solar design takes large strides, whose path is clearly laid by the past, toward sustainability.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Passive Solar Design
Chapter 2: Roman Solar Design
Chapter 3: Roman Thermae
Chapter 4: A Model: Roman Thermae
Chapter 5: Solar Design Around the Ancient World
Chapter 6: Solar Design Today
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by Emily Damon
Sat Mar 20/2010 06:59
"Only primitives and barbarians lack knowledge of houses turned to face the winter sun."
-Aeschylus (Greek playwright, c. 500 BC)Read more at humanitieslab.stanford.edu