Passive solar utilization in modular housing

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This thesis seeks to put forth an alternative to conventional housing by taking advantage of the low construction costs attributable to prefabrication and the reduced cost of energy required by integrating passive solar devices in the unit. It is the assumption here that the already inflated cost of conventional construction and fuel can only increase, thus pushing the possibility of owning a home, out of reach of the average earner. The proposed guidelines and subsequent solutions stated are expected to prove themselves as an attractive and economical alternative to customers.

Prefabrication methods and the use of passive solar devices are studied in depth to ascertain the optimum methods of use. The relevance of daylighting and natural ventilation are also evaluated. The selection of the final plan is achieved by analyzing predicted costs of heating each unit, taking into account building enclosure data. Guidelines for manufacture, transportation and erection of each unit are also proposed.