Solar row houses: between the earth and sky

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

In the past 30 years the size of new houses has varied considerably with a general trend to larger houses. These larger houses use more materials in their construction and consume more energy to heat and cool than a more compact house would. Meanwhile, the amount of resources that are available have not increased, and the environmental condition of the planet has become more and more tenuous.

To end this trend of larger houses that make inefficient use of natural resources, architects need to design houses that are smaller and use energy more efficiently. By building houses more in tune with the natural rhythms of the sun and seasons the home becomes more energy efficient and can take better advantage of the natural energy supply available from the sun. Such a house will have less of an impact on the environment and keep the residents in touch with natural cycle of life.

With this project I have addressed these issues and have designed a row of houses that provide a meaningful place to live that is also in tune with the environment. As with any project, I have found the answers to many questions and I have also discovered new ideas to develop further