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The Passive Solar Energy Book: A Complete Guide to Passive Solar Home, Greenhouse and Building Design Paperback – May 1, 1979


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Pr; First Edition edition (May 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878572376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878572373
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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If you are building a green house, you need this book.
Max Power
I designed my home using the book and the forecasted energy compsumption matched the calculations!
frodriguezve@nexo.es
Russel Ball's sketches illustrate basic concepts extremely well.
Hal Fonts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By frodriguezve@nexo.es on January 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
From a number of books I have been reading on passive energy topics, Mazria's small book is the most concrete, understandable and organized. I designed my home using the book and the forecasted energy compsumption matched the calculations!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. Nielsen (entfolks@mwci.net) on June 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A seminal reference on the fundamentals of solar design. Easily used, yet thorough and quantitative. Should be required reading for everyone in the architecture & building design fields. Sunfall info given here is relevant to every structure ever designed -- and if you actually use it, the info *will* improve your design!!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Hal Fonts on January 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Many years ago I found Edward Mazria's 1979 "Passive Solar Energy Book" in a used book store and bought it on a whim. For years it sat waiting in my reference library. Now as a retired Engineer interested in designing an energy independent house -- it is by far, a most useful Bible.

The book's self-limitation to "passive" (rather than "active") systems -- only affects the architectural design philosophy and patterns (rules of thumb). Russel Ball's sketches illustrate basic concepts extremely well.

Charts and tables of solar insolation on surfaces at various latitudes and tilt-angles (from his computer analysis in the 70s) are extensive, detailed and applicable anywhere, for ANY solar design.

My "Professional Edition" (687 pages) includes 14 Appendices filled with reference charts and tables -- and clear plastic chart overlays for latitude and panel orientation. I only wish Mazria's underlying formulas for calculations were provided (as many now on the Internet are dangerously poorly documented.)

The book is written in a friendly and understandable format, while also filled with hard-data -- as relevant today as when written. I can't believe it hasn't been continuously re-published. If you are designing solar and find a copy, grab it without hesitation.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dave Hrivnak on December 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
When I designed our first house this book was invaluable. We are now designing our second home and looked to see if there is an update. Unfortunately it has not been revised but then little has changed with the sun and mass and the book will once again be a valued resource.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Max Power TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I paid about $10 for mine used.

This book has everything you need to know about passive solar. It's well organized. It has detailed examples and illustrations (all black and white, but easy to read). 99% of the material is still relevant today, 30 years after the publishing date. Its amazing to me this information has been around for 30 years and still not put to use. If you are building a green house, you need this book. If you want to lower your heating bill, you need this book. If you want to build a green building you need this book. This book does not have actual building code though, like how many 2x4's you need for a sod roof, but it has detailed sun charts, latitudes, longitudes, thermal conduction of various materials, insulation rating of various materials, real world examples, and much more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Borst on April 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As everyone else has indicated, this is by far the best passive solar design book in our library. It contains all the information necessary to properly design a solar passive house. The only negative is that it is 1979 Copyright, out of print, and may therefore be hard to acquire. The best current book that we have is by Daniel D. Chiras, "The Solar House". James Kachadorian's "The Passive Solar House" is also an excellent current book in terms of the excellent engineering information provided although some of the slab construction recommendations may be somewhat dated and not in line with current best practice. The worst book we have encountered was Debra Coleman's "Sun Inspired House". This book is merely an advertisement of the plans she sells and we would definitely advise applying due diligence if considering to do business with her. For those interested in doing passive solar design, we added some calculators to our website that you can find by Googling Borst Engineering & Construction LLC.
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