Passive solar energy application in townhouse design: a case study

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The plan and design of a large housing development project by itself was a difficult task in the past, the energy issue made the options very limited, and the planner and/or engineer deal with the solution more often technically intended with or without considering the energy problem. This study is centered on the energy issue as part of the design decision making process.

This study tries to integrate the energy use effects as part of the basic planning process, such as land use and building style dependent on the land contour as well as solar exposure; and the passive solar energy utilization as part of the design process where the solar use is not an add on solar system but an integrated part of the basic design scheme. A development summary of the analysis and process guideline is introduced for medium-low density housing project in an urban setting with an actual site as a case study to illustrate the process.