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Passive Solar Architecture: Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, Daylighting and More Using Natural Flows Hardcover – August 18, 2011

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Passive Solar Architecture: Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, Daylighting and More Using Natural Flows + The Passivhaus Handbook: A Practical Guide to Constructing and Retrofitting Buildings for Ultra-Low Energy Performance (Sustainable Building)
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Editorial Reviews


This book is a major work. It uniquely emphasizes the interplay between passive solar building and the other elements of sustainable design, and relates real-world examples of building design to broader issues of sustainability. Passive Solar Architecture is a welcome addition to any bookshelf on green architecture and sustainability.--Margot McDonald, professor of architecture, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and past-president, American Solar Energy Society

"Passive Solar Architecture is a comprehensive technical guide to building comfortable, vibrant, efficient homes and commercial buildings. Whether you are in the market for technical tips to maximize a microclimate or a systems-thinking approach to building design, this book is an ideal read for architects, building engineers, homebuilders and green building enthusiasts alike."--Jen Boynton, Editor in Chief,

"If you read just one book on sustainable building, choose Passive Solar Architecture. In this single-volume handbook, authors David A. Bainbridge and Ken Haggard use warmth and wit to give readers a thorough understanding of passive heating and cooling. In an overheated world, where buildings gobble up the biggest share of energy, this book should be required reading for contractors, architects, homeowners and anyone who cares about housing."--Nicolette Toussaint, architectural designer, and founder,

"This splendid book is essential reading for anyone planning to build a sustainable, energy-efficient solar home. No one knows this important topic better than veteran solar architects David Bainbridge and Ken Haggard."--Cheryl Long, Editor in Chief, Mother Earth News

"The design and construction profession has needed Passive Solar Architecture for a long time. David Bainbridge and Ken Haggard share their knowledge, gleaned from more than three decades, of cutting-edge work with low-energy, passive-solar, and natural building practices. This is a must-have resource for designers wanting to incorporate passive features in their buildings."--Alex Wilson, Founder, BuildingGreen, Inc., Executive Editor, Environmental Building News

"This book is a treasure! Drawn from the coauthors' and contributors' decades of successful experience, Passive Solar Architecture is both inspiringly broad in scope and delightfully detailed. City and neighborhood planning is intermixed with many small gems-such as a metal water wall detail to capture winter sun-and examples in climates from around the world. This is a welcome and unique resource for my university seminars in passive heating and cooling."--John S. Reynolds, FAIA, Professor of Architecture Emeritus, University of Oregon, and Honorary Past Chair, American Solar Energy Society

"Passive solar home design has significant benefits over traditional home design―especially in disaster situations. In the face of an alarming increase in intensity and frequency of natural disasters, this richly illustrated and accessible book should be a must-read for all homebuilders and community planners."--Yasmeen Hossain, former Senior Solar Analyst with the Solar Electric Power Association

About the Author

David A. Bainbridge first worked on community design, passive solar heating and cooling, building codes, and solar rights at the innovative design firm Living Systems. He described his first water-wall solar home and the Village Homes solar subdivision in Solar House Designs in 1978. Founder of the Passive Solar Institute, and recipient of the ASES Passive Pioneer Award in 2004, Bainbridge consults on a wide range of residential and commercial projects and has completed several solar projects on his own homes, as well as co-authoring The Straw Bale House (with Athena Swentzell Steen and Bill Steen), and Passive Solar Architecture (with Ken Haggard). He is currently Associate Professor of Sustainable Management at the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. He lives in San Diego, California.

Ken Haggard, formerly an architecture professor at California Polytechnic, is an architect and principal in the San Luis Sustainability Group. Since the late sixties, Haggard has designed more than 200 solar buildings, from homes to large commercial and institutional buildings—as well as the first permitted straw bale building in California. An active member of the American and International Solar Energy Societies, he received the Passive Pioneer Award from ASES in 1999 and was made a fellow of ASES in 2000. His office and home—in Santa Margarita, California—are passive solar, off grid, and straw bale.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 1 edition (August 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603582967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603582964
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,300,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Bainbridge grew up in the West, spending his formative years in northern Washington east of the Cascades in a small town working in the family toy factory and enjoying the rivers, mountains and sage covered hills. After earning a BA in Earth Sciences at UC San Diego in 1970, he moved north to UC Davis to complete a MS in Ecology in the multidisciplinary Eco-Grad Program. He completed the coursework for a PhD in Ecology, but was unable to develop a workable committee for his proposed thesis on ecological community design.

Instead he started a company doing environmental impact analysis, then transitioned to a solar research and design firm, Living Systems, where he worked on community design, passive solar heating and cooling, building codes and solar rights. He completed his first water wall solar home in the innovative Village Homes solar subdivision and helped overcome city engineering department resistance to narrow streets and above-ground drainage systems. His research on passive solar heating and cooling led him to the California Energy Commission as a solar specialist, where he earned a commendation for his work on the passive section of the state Solar Tax Credit program and work on the state Passive Solar Handbook. He served as a judge for the Federal Dept. of Housing and Urban Development solar home competition. After leaving the energy commission he established the Passive Solar Institute where he continued research, education, and consulting on solar design and energy conservation. He has completed two new homes, four remodels, one straw bale building and helped his parents with a home deconstruction and rebuild. His design consulting work has ranged from homes to office buildings, a medical office, subdivisions, a new town, and many remodels.

He started work on straw bale building systems in 1985 with a consulting project for a farmer, an interest that eventually led to the completion of The Straw Bale House in 1994, with sales now over 125,000 copies. He was actively involved in straw bale building research from 1985-2001. After the collapse in energy prices dampened interest in solar energy in the early 1980s he returned to academia and worked on desert restoration at UC Riverside and San Diego State University from 1986-1995.

In 1995 he started teaching at Alliant International University, where he is now Associate Professor of Sustainable Management in the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. His special interests include sustainability reporting, environmental economics, passive solar design and environmental restoration.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nunya_Binnez on March 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am trying to educate myself on the construction of net-zero homes so that I might eventually live off the grid. My motivations are entirely selfish monetary ones. The fact that they happen to coincide with socio-politically-correct green movement are of little consequence to me as a consumer.

I was encouraged by the 5-star average review of this book, but after reading through it I realized that the title and description of this book are totally misleading. A more appropriate title would be, "Eco-conscious Living: A Diatribe in Sustainability".

There are several great ideas and concepts for sustainable, low-waste practices, but very very little information on passive solar design concerns beyond lighting and the "advantage" of heating/cooling. Nearly zero information on implementation.

The author appears to be trying to sell the concept of sustainable living. This reader is already sold on it, so the message was completely wasted on me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By GoldenHVAC on January 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was hoping it would be a great resource to find products to help build my new home. However it has pictures of pigs and other comical animals, with quotes like "Use dual pane glass, it will save energy". I really got bored reading this book. It did not offer any "New" ideas to me. Suggestions like "Install more insulation, and you will save energy". Yawn.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Hart on April 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Here is a hefty book with a lengthy title: "Passive Solar Architecture: Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, Daylighting and More Using Natural Flows". Written by two veterans of the Passive Solar movement, David Bainbridge and Ken Haggard, this book actually exceeds the promise of the title; it covers everything mentioned plus quite a bit more.

Published in 2011, it is entirely current and relevant to our changing times regarding economic and ecological realities. For the authors "passive architecture" is an umbrella term that includes all dimensions of sustainability in the built environment. They say that, "For human survival and a livable future, the idea and application of sustainability must become part of an epochal cultural shift." They do their best to nudge this shift along with the publication of this book.

According to the authors, "The failure of the current worldwide economic system is in large part a failure of accounting." To address this failure, they advocate focusing on triple-bottom-line accounting which includes ecology, economy, and social equity. With this perspective all life-cycle costs over the service life of a building are taken into consideration, including all health and environmental costs.

This book is far from being just theoretical; they very quickly delve into the details of how to achieve a truly energy efficient building. Starting with how a building is situated in place and what materials choices are best, considering the microclimate of that place. The importance of exposure to sun and wind are fully investigated. Human comfort is critical to their thinking, and they make an excellent case that passive approaches to heating, cooling, and lighting yield greater comfort.
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