Passive Solar Design

Sustainable Sources LLC
Posted on: 4/27/2020 - Updated on: 7/08/2022

Posted by



Passive solar design refers to the use of the sun’s energy for the heating and cooling of living spaces. In this approach, the building itself or some element of it takes advantage of natural energy characteristics in materials and air created by exposure to the sun. Passive systems are simple, have few moving parts, and require minimal maintenance and require no mechanical systems. Operable windows, thermal mass, and thermal chimneys are common elements found in passive design. Operable windows are simply windows that can be opened. Thermal mass refers to materials such as masonry and water that can store heat energy for extended time. Thermal mass will prevent rapid temperature fluctuations. Thermal chimneys create or reinforce the effect hot air rising to induce air movement for cooling purposes. Wing walls are vertical exterior wall partitions placed perpendicular to adjoining windows to enhance ventilation through windows.

This resource provide guidelines for both passive solar heating and solar cooling. 


Document Type
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy