Why do we build passive solar homes? Most people familiar with the subject of alternative and renewable energies would reply with a variation of many answers to this question.
“To act locally in an ever expanding global market.” “The solar panels or photovoltaics will pay for themselves in a given amount of time depending on the system implemented.” “I would build a passive solar house to take myself entirely off the grid.”
These answers seem to be common when it comes to the world of alternative energies. Although the majority may reply to this question with similar answers there has to be a flip side or different view on any topic including renewable energy. “Green building,” or building with natural supplies is yet another way to recycle the earth’s minimal resources. Combining green building and solar passive idioms is nothing new to the alternative energy market, but it does raise a few different questions about the role of humans co-existing with nature and their living spaces. This paper will discuss the aesthetic values of living in tune with the earth through passive design.
For thousands and thousands of years, man lived on the earth as we still do today. Nomadic peoples resorted to hunting and gathering, which gave way to organized agriculture that developed in Mesopotamia. The major step that propelled us into our present day lives was the industrial revolution. Now as “evolved” creatures we have fallen prey to the technological advances and have come to depend on them, especially with our ever-increasing population on earth. Environmental degradation, over population, war, and economic decay have become mainstays on our agenda as world citizens. These issues must be dealt with or we risk eternal failure as a whole.
How do we reverse this cycle of events for the better? Maybe we need to look back on our ancient ancestors and take a few pointers. No, we obviously cannot reverse the chain of events that has brought us to this point but we can individually do our part to stop the on going process.
Technology has brought us to where we are today as humans. For better or worse this is where we are and we are stuck with it. We need to use technology to our advantage in our everyday lives. This is where passive solar technology comes into play. It is, in a sense, a gathering of the new and old for a better world. Our ancient ancestors may have caused war and been unjust but they did not place the future of the world on the brink of extinction. As present citizens of earth our living habits dictate the way we use earth’s resources. We need to curb our ways and live “closer” or more in-tune with our mother earth.
Greeks and Romans used passive designs in their architecture for such purposes as community baths and meeting halls as well as orientating their living spaces also. This technology is nothing new, so we have the ability to do this type of building on a large scale. The...