Chelsea Green Publishing

Passive Solar Architecture

Pages:304 pages
Book Art:Full-color photos and illustrations throughout
Size: 10 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Hardcover: 9781603582964
Pub. Date August 18, 2011

Passive Solar Architecture

Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, Daylighting and More Using Natural Flows

Building & Energy

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
August 18, 2011


New buildings can be designed to be solar oriented, naturally heated and cooled, naturally lit and ventilated, and made with renewable, sustainable materials—no matter the location or climate.

In this comprehensive overview of passive solar design, two of America’s solar pioneers give homeowners, architects, designers, and builders the keys to successfully harnessing the sun and maximizing climate resources for heating, cooling, ventilation, and daylighting.

Bainbridge and Haggard draw upon examples from their own experiences, as well as those of others, of more than three decades to offer both overarching principles as well as the details and formulas needed to successfully design a more comfortable, healthy, and secure place in which to live, laugh, dance, and be comfortable. Even if the power goes off.

Passive Solar Architecture also discusses “greener” and more-sustainable building materials and how to use them, and explores the historical roots of green design that have made possible buildings that produce more energy and other resources than they use.


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

"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

"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,

"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


  • Winner - Bookbuilder's Award (Best in Category for Professional, Illustrated Books)


David Bainbridge

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

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.


The Straw Bale House

The Straw Bale House

By Athena Swentzell Steen and Bill Steen and David Bainbridge

Imagine building a house with superior seismic stability, fire resistance, and thermal insulation, using an annually renewable resource, for half the cost of a comparable conventional home. Welcome to the straw bale house! Whether you build an entire house or something more modest-a home office or studio, a retreat cabin or guest cottage-plastered straw bale construction is an exceptionally durable and inexpensive option. What's more, it's fun, because the technique is easy to learn and easy to do yourself. And the resulting living spaces are unusually quiet and comfortable.The Straw Bale Housedescribes the many benefits of building with straw bales:

  • super insulation, with R-values as high as R-50
  • good indoor air quality and noise reduction
  • a speedy construction process
  • construction costs as low as $10-per-square-foot
  • use of natural and abundant renewable resources
  • a better solution than burning agricultural waste straw, which creates tons of air pollutants

Available in: Paperback

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The Straw Bale House

Athena Swentzell Steen, Bill Steen, David Bainbridge

Paperback $34.95


The New Net Zero

The New Net Zero

By Bill Maclay

The new threshold for green building is not just low energy, it’s net-zero energy. In The New Net Zero, sustainable architect Bill Maclay charts the path for designers and builders interested in exploring green design’s new frontier net-zero-energy structures that produce as much energy as they consume and are carbon neutral.

 In a nation where traditional buildings use roughly 40 percent of the total fossil energy, the interest in net-zero building is growing enormously–among both designers interested in addressing climate change and consumers interested in energy efficiency and long-term savings. Maclay, an award-winning net-zero designer whose buildings have achieved high-performance goals at affordable costs, makes the case for a net-zero future; explains net-zero building metrics, integrated design practices, and renewable energy options; and shares his lessons learned on net-zero teambuilding.

Designers and builders will find a wealth of state-of-the-art information on such considerations as air, water, and vapor barriers; embodied energy; residential and commercial net-zero standards; monitoring and commissioning; insulation options; costs; and more.

The comprehensive overview is accompanied by several case studies, which include institutional buildings, commercial projects, and residences.  Both new-building and renovation projects are covered in detail. 

The New Net Zero is geared toward professionals exploring net-zero design, but also suitable for nonprofessionals seeking ideas and strategies on net-zero options that are beautiful and renewably powered.

Available in: Hardcover

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The New Net Zero

Bill Maclay

Hardcover $90.00

Mortgage Free!

Mortgage Free!

By Robert L. Roy

mort•gage (mor´-gij)
n. from Old French morgage, mort gage, literally “death pledge”

As a wave of foreclosures sweeps the country, many people are giving up hope for owning a home of their own. They have good reason to turn their backs on the banks, but not on their dreams. In this revised edition of Mortgage Free!, Rob Roy offers a series of escape routes from enslavement to financial institutions, underscored by true stories of intrepid homeowners who have put their principles into action.

From back-to-the-land homesteads to country homes, here is a complete guide to strategies that allow you to own your land and home, free and clear, without the bank. Included is detailed advice about:

  • Clarifying and simplifying your notions of what’s necessary
  • Finding land that you love and can afford
  • Taking control of the house-building process, for the sake of sanity and pleasure
  • Learning to take a long-term perspective on your family’s crucial economic decisions, avoiding debt and modern-day serfdom

Available in: eBook

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Mortgage Free!

Robert L. Roy

eBook $24.95

The Toilet Papers

The Toilet Papers

By Sim Van Der Ryn

A classic is back in print! One of the favorite books of 1970s back-to-the-landers, The Toilet Papers is an informative, inspiring, and irreverent look at how people have dealt with their wastes through the centuries. In a historical survey, Van der Ryn provides the basic facts concerning human wastes, and describes safe designs for toilets that reduce water consumption and avert the necessity for expensive and unreliable treatment systems. The Toilet Papers provides do-it-yourself plans for a basic compost privy and a variety of graywater systems.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

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The Toilet Papers

Sim Van Der Ryn, Wendell Berry

Paperback $14.00

Power from the People

Power from the People

By Greg Pahl

Over 90 percent of US power generation comes from large, centralized, highly polluting, nonrenewable sources of energy. It is delivered through long, brittle transmission lines, and then is squandered through inefficiency and waste. But it doesn't have to be that way. Communities can indeed produce their own local, renewable energy.

Power from the People explores how homeowners, co-ops, nonprofit institutions, governments, and businesses are putting power in the hands of local communities through distributed energy programs and energy-efficiency measures.

Using examples from around the nation - and occasionally from around the world - Greg Pahl explains how to plan, organize, finance, and launch community-scale energy projects that harvest energy from sun, wind, water, and earth. He also explains why community power is a necessary step on the path to energy security and community resilience - particularly as we face peak oil, cope with climate change, and address the need to transition to a more sustainable future.

This book - the second in the Chelsea Green Publishing Company and Post Carbon Institute's Community Resilience Series - also profiles numerous communitywide initiatives that can be replicated elsewhere.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

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Power from the People

Greg Pahl, Van Jones

Paperback $19.95