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Passive Solar Homes

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TEC-SMART Sustainability Series, October 15th at 6 PM. Details.

This discussion will provide an overview of the key components of a passive solar house system. The speaker, Bruce Brownell, has worked 40 years perfecting a system to deliver a very durable home with a high level of comfort and
outstanding indoor air quality, while using a fraction of the energy a typical house uses.

Bruce founded Adirondack Alternate Energy in 1967 and has built almost 400 passive solar homes throughout the United States, but mostly in the Northeast. Here are a few pictures of homes he has built.

During this short seminar, Bruce, a pioneer in the field of building and monitoring passive solar homes, will provide an overview of the components integrating advanced passive design into the overall building systems. He will show us how he builds homes with very low energy requirements and uses the sun passively.

Presentation Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Overview Foundation
  • Envelope – all six sides
  • Orientation & windows
  • Air-integrated thermal mass
  • Supplemental heating systems and energy storage
  • Air quality and other considerations
  • Performance details
  • Summary, Discussion

Bruce Brownell, a passionate advocate for the environment, spoke to thousands at the very first Earth Day in Flushing Meadows in 1970. With a degree in wood products engineering he started his career in the family lumber business. From there he began designing and building passive solar homes in the 1970’s. Bruce’s business, Adirondack Alternate Energy, has completed over 350 passive solar homes with more than 1000 comfortable people living in them. His basic belief is “The sun will never send anyone a bill”. Many of Bruce’s homes have no energy costs for heating at all. These homes exceed Energy Star standards nearly 20 years before Energy Star was an EPA program.

Another blog by Bruce: "How Much Does it Really Cost to Heat Your Home?"

Bruce Brownell can be reached by comments to this blog or by email at [email protected].


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