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Passive Solar Simplified: Easily design a truly green home for Colorado and the West [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Doerr
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Save $, your health & the planet"
This book just what you need to know to design a passive solar home for the western states, without extraneous and confusing information. Save over 80% of your heating and cooling bills, improve your health, and tread more lightly on the planet.

Most know that passive solar can be used to heat a home, but it can do more. Passive solar can also be used to cool, light and ventilate homes. Passive solar homes will save you money and ensure your family's comfort. It can do all this without burning fossil fuels or causing nuclear waste. This book is just what you need to know about designing very energy efficient houses for Colorado and the surrounding states, presented clearly and concisely.

You will discover:
- What passive solar design is and how it will save them money.
- How passive solar will ensure their comfort and health.
- The three key passive solar systems and when to use them.
- The most effective and easy to use green building strategies.
- How to apply these systems and strategies, simply and effectively.

Passive Solar Simplified covers the three key types of passive solar systems: direct gain, thermal storage walls, and sunspaces. It also covers the passive solar design strategies: proper building orientation, solar shading, thermal mass, glass, daylighting, room arrangement, and ventilation. All this, plus the other important green building strategies, including insulation, air-sealing, and photovoltaics (PV). These techniques work for both new houses and remodels. This little book was written for both laypersons and architects.

Editorial Reviews


"Why wouldn't you want a passive solar house? This book thoroughly explores one of the simplest and most powerful ideas in the world." 
-Bill McKibben, founder

"Passive Solar Simplified is a really great book, lots of information on how you can make some simple changes to really affect your home energy use."
-Meaghan Wallace, KREX CBS TV

Thomas Doerr's "new book, Passive Solar Simplified, reveals how to apply these systems to easily design a green home in Colorado and the West." 
-Kelsey Fowler, Denver Post

"Passive Solar Simplified is a good read for anyone designing or building a home - you'll be surprised at how much passive solar you can integrate into a home design."
-Sam Ley, PV Design Engineer

About the Author

Thomas Doerr is an award-winning, internationally-experienced architect specializing in sustainable design, including passive solar, off-grid, and net-zero energy homes. He is past chair of the Colorado AIA Committee on the Environment and founder of Doerr Architecture. Thomas has taught architecture at the University of Colorado and is a regular speaker at green building conferences.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2001 KB
  • Print Length: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Alitheia Press (July 16, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008MC3L0E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,254 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and understandable July 22, 2012
As an architect, I've read many books about green home building and passive solar design. Passive Solar Simplified has got to be most understandable book I've read on the topic and it does this without oversimplifying it. Most other books on passive solar design are either missing important information, flawed, annoyingly complicated, or all of the above. This book explains everything you need know about passive solar to design a house to be extremely energy efficient. It covers just enough background to help understand why you should do things and it has good diagrams. Definitely a great addition to my bookshelf.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't build before reading this book August 6, 2012
By Claire
I got this book to learn how to make my new home as green as possible. I was worried about the subject being too complicated but I was surprised. This book clearly describes the different passive solar systems and when to use them. All the info I needed was included in the book and it wasn't that hard. It helped me easily figure out what passive solar techniques to use (and not to use) and how to lay out my plan. Get away from the 'greenwashing' of most other books; if you don't use the info in this book, you can't really create a green home. Lots of helpful pictures. I highly recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Passive Solar Simplified is a quick read for a clear understanding of the sun's impact on an interior space. I picked it up to educate my design process for an addition I'm planning, and I put it down with action items for simple ways to improve the energy efficiency of my existing home. Difficult decisions that previously seemed mostly aesthetic have become simpler, simply by reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved the book. Absolutely hate that there is a minimum number of words required for leaving a review! A a
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice work! May 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Lovely home, very clever design: from a box to beautiful!

Nice simple concepts for the person starting to find out about solar passive building.
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More About the Author

The author of Passive Solar Simplified is the internationally-experienced, award-winning architect and educator, Thomas Doerr. Thomas specializes in sustainable design, including passive solar, net-zero energy, and off-grid homes. Thomas has designed successful projects as large as hotels and as small as light fixtures. His designs have been published in magazines, exhibited in galleries, and have received professional awards.

Thomas is a Green Points certified architect and past chair of the Colorado chapter of the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Committee on the Environment where he authored the Green Architecture Checklist for residences and edited the commercial checklist. He helped edit the Rocky Mountain edition of The Sustainable Design Resource Guide. Thomas is a licensed Energy Efficiency Inspector contractor. He is a professional advisor for the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Green Home Guide. A home Thomas designed achieved an amazing HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score of negative 3, one of a few houses to ever score this well.

After working at firms in Austin, Boston, San Francisco, Germany and Denver, Thomas founded his own firm, Doerr Architecture, to offer high-quality, ecological and personal service.

Thomas earned a professional degree in architecture from The University of Texas at Austin, studied art in Rome, Italy, and then earned a master of architecture degree from The University of California at Berkeley. He has taught architecture at The University of Colorado, green building at Naropa University, and is a frequent speaker at green building conferences.

Thomas lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wonderful family. His friends speculate on which will kill him first, his mountain biking or his dancing.

Learn more and see Thomas's architecture portfolio at

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