Control Radiation Gain/Loss

In order to minimize heating or cooling load, the last aspect is to control radiation gain/loss. It means we should try to:

How to accomplish above goals? Through something called passive solar design.

Passive Solar Design

Also called climatic design, a design approach that uses structural elements of a building to heat and cool a building without the use of mechanical equipment. Every passive solar building includes five distinct design elements:


There are three basic passive solar designs for heat regulation, each of which incorporates these five elements in different ways.


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Proper landscape features are also important in passive solar design. As shown in picture below, evergreens are planted on the north side of the houses blocking cold north wind in the winter. Deciduous trees are planted on the south side of the house so that in the summer these trees in full leaves shade home but all radiation heat to come through in the winter that they have lost all their leaves. Note most windows are located in the south side of the house to collect solar energy in the summer while cold north wind to strike the side of the house with few windows, so you don't lose as much heat.


Passive solar design can be used in most parts of the world. If designed by an experienced passive solar architect, buildings using passive solar design principles need not cost more up front than conventionally designed buildings. And when they do, the savings in energy bills quickly pay for themselves.

Have I Grasped the Key Concepts Here?


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