Passive Solar design refers to the use of the sun’s energy for the heating and cooling of living spaces. In this approach, the building itself or some element of it takes advantage of natural properties of materials and air created by exposure to the sun. Passive systems are simple, have few moving parts, and require minimal maintenance and no mechanical systems.
Operable windows placed for optimal heat gain in winter, shading devices and solar chimneys for the summer, and thermal mass for both seasons are common elements found in Passive Solar design. Solar chimneys create or reinforce the effect hot air rising to induce air movement for cooling purposes. The resulting suction pulls cooler air into the building from lower, shaded spaces.