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Resilient Design: Natural Cooling

Posted on April 27,2015 by AlexWilson in AC

Over the past month and a half, my blogs been focusing on resilient design — which will become all the more important in this age of climate change. Achieving resilience in homes not only involves keeping them comfortable in the winter months through lots of insulation and some passive solar gain (which I've covered in the previous two blogs), it also involves keeping them from getting too hot in the summer months if we lose power and our air conditioning systems stop working.

Resilient Design: Passive Solar Heat

Posted on April 27,2015 by AlexWilson in passive solar

As I discussed in last week's blog, a resilient home is extremely well insulated, so that it can be kept warm with very little supplemental heat — and if power or heating fuel is lost, for some reason, there won't be risk of homeowners getting dangerously cold or their pipes freezing. If we design and orient the house in such a way that natural heating from the sun can occur, we add to that resilience and further reduce the risk of the house getting too cold in the winter. Passive solar heating

Window Shades, Blinds, and Awnings

Posted on April 27,2015 by Tristan Roberts in windows

Good ways to modify windows to prevent too much solar gain in the summer.

A few weeks ago I told a story in this space that was third-hand from Gordon Hayward. Well, a lot changed in the telling, and Gordon got back to me with what really happened. Three aunts of a young man from Dorchester, Mass., came up to celebrate his graduation from a Vermont boarding school. They asked Gordon how anyone here ever slept at night: it was so dark and quiet that none of them got a wink. They thought there were at least three bears outside.

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