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Namespaces Article Talk. Yanagimachi's Solar House II is one of the many projects documented in the book with architectural drawings. This building section illustrates how the systems are tied together, from the rooftop heat sink and radiant ceiling panels to the innovative heat storage water tank in the basement. The latter was used for both heating and cooling; in the case of cooling, the heat pump made ice at night that was used the next day to cool the water pumped through the house.
The concept of off-peak ice storage is now increasingly common in green buildings, even in skyscrapers. Denzer calls the late s a "Solar Renaissance," suitable given that even Jimmy Carter mounted solar hot-water panels atop the White House in to be removed by Ronald Reagan seven years later.
One of the projects from this time period is Saskatchewan Conservation House, which resembles early solar houses in form but departs from them in important ways: It has smaller and fewer windows, it doesn't rely on most of the engineered technologies from the previous decades, and it is superinsulated.
The latter attribute is its most lasting, influencing today's Passivhaus principles and Canada's R program. The basic idea of the superinsulated and supertight house is that the heat within the interiors some of it coming from solar gain isn't lost to the outside.
Fresh air is brought in by an air-to-air heat exchanger, as is the case in the Conservation House. The house performed so well—reaching what would now be referred to as net-zero status—that the solar collectors mounted above the second-floor windows could have been omitted, as they weren't needed for space heating. Denzer ends the book with some snapshots of solar houses today. These fall into the superinsulated camp of houses designed to Passivhaus principles, like this house in Germany by Wolfgang Feist and others, and the biennial Solar Decathlon competitions, in which student teams design and build houses that vie to be the greenest in a number of measured ways.
The latter more closely resemble the pioneering work of the Kecks, but the work in the competitions also attempts to synthesize architectural and engineering considerations, arising through multidisciplinary teams and integrated design. It's clear from Denzer's book that there is more to solar houses than previously understood or imagined. But it's also clear that there is still plenty of work that needs to be done to synthesize the aesthetic and the technological, and to persuade the public that solar houses are viable and desirable.
Rising energy prices may make solar houses more desirable in the years and decades to come, so it's time for architects and engineers to work together on creating solutions that tap into those Denzer so eloquently presents. Skip to main content. A history of the solar house. John Hill, Houzz. January 18, Inspire your neighbors by installing solar panels.
Community solar programs increase access to green choices.Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Magic of the City - Solar House on AllMusic -