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Passive Solar Architecture

Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, Daylighting and More Using Natural Flows

Building & Energy

New buildings can be designed to be solar oriented, naturally heated and cooled, naturally lit and ventilated, and made with renewable, sustainable materials—no matter the location or climate.

In this comprehensive overview of passive solar design, two of America’s solar pioneers give homeowners, architects, designers, and builders the keys to successfully harnessing the sun and maximizing climate resources for heating, cooling, ventilation, and daylighting.

Bainbridge and Haggard draw upon examples from their own experiences, as well as those of others, of more than three decades to offer both overarching principles as well as the details and formulas needed to successfully design a more comfortable, healthy, and secure place in which to live, laugh, dance, and be comfortable. Even if the power goes off.

Passive Solar Architecture also discusses “greener” and more-sustainable building materials and how to use them, and explores the historical roots of green design that have made possible buildings that produce more energy and other resources than they use.


This book is a major work. It uniquely emphasizes the interplay between passive solar building and the other elements of sustainable design, and relates real-world examples of building design to broader issues of sustainability. Passive Solar Architecture is a welcome addition to any bookshelf on green architecture and sustainability.--Margot McDonald, professor of architecture, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and past-president, American Solar Energy Society

"Passive Solar Architecture is a comprehensive technical guide to building comfortable, vibrant, efficient homes and commercial buildings. Whether you are in the market for technical tips to maximize a microclimate or a systems-thinking approach to building design, this book is an ideal read for architects, building engineers, homebuilders and green building enthusiasts alike."--Jen Boynton, Editor in Chief,

"If you read just one book on sustainable building, choose Passive Solar Architecture. In this single-volume handbook, authors David A. Bainbridge and Ken Haggard use warmth and wit to give readers a thorough understanding of passive heating and cooling. In an overheated world, where buildings gobble up the biggest share of energy, this book should be required reading for contractors, architects, homeowners and anyone who cares about housing."--Nicolette Toussaint, architectural designer, and founder,

"This splendid book is essential reading for anyone planning to build a sustainable, energy-efficient solar home. No one knows this important topic better than veteran solar architects David Bainbridge and Ken Haggard."--Cheryl Long, Editor in Chief, Mother Earth News

"The design and construction profession has needed Passive Solar Architecture for a long time. David Bainbridge and Ken Haggard share their knowledge, gleaned from more than three decades, of cutting-edge work with low-energy, passive-solar, and natural building practices. This is a must-have resource for designers wanting to incorporate passive features in their buildings."--Alex Wilson, Founder, BuildingGreen, Inc., Executive Editor, Environmental Building News

"This book is a treasure! Drawn from the coauthors' and contributors' decades of successful experience, Passive Solar Architecture is both inspiringly broad in scope and delightfully detailed. City and neighborhood planning is intermixed with many small gems-such as a metal water wall detail to capture winter sun-and examples in climates from around the world. This is a welcome and unique resource for my university seminars in passive heating and cooling."--John S. Reynolds, FAIA, Professor of Architecture Emeritus, University of Oregon, and Honorary Past Chair, American Solar Energy Society

"Passive solar home design has significant benefits over traditional home design—especially in disaster situations. In the face of an alarming increase in intensity and frequency of natural disasters, this richly illustrated and accessible book should be a must-read for all homebuilders and community planners."--Yasmeen Hossain, former Senior Solar Analyst with the Solar Electric Power Association


  • Winner - Bookbuilder's Award (Best in Category for Professional, Illustrated Books)


David Bainbridge

David Bainbridge

David A. Bainbridge first worked on community design, passive solar heating and cooling, building codes, and solar rights at the innovative design firm Living Systems. He described his first water-wall solar home and the Village Homes solar subdivision in Solar House Designs in 1978. Founder of the Passive Solar Institute, and recipient of the ASES Passive Pioneer Award in 2004, Bainbridge consults on a wide range of residential and commercial projects and has completed several solar projects on his own homes, as well as co-authoring The Straw Bale House (with Athena Swentzell Steen and Bill Steen), and Passive Solar Architecture (with Ken Haggard). He is currently Associate Professor of Sustainable Management at the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. He lives in San Diego, California.

Ken Haggard

Ken Haggard

Ken Haggard, formerly an architecture professor at California Polytechnic, is an architect and principal in the San Luis Sustainability Group. Since the late sixties, Haggard has designed more than 200 solar buildings, from homes to large commercial and institutional buildings—as well as the first permitted straw bale building in California. An active member of the American and International Solar Energy Societies, he received the Passive Pioneer Award from ASES in 1999 and was made a fellow of ASES in 2000. His office and home—in Santa Margarita, California—are passive solar, off grid, and straw bale.

Passive Solar Architecture

Pages:304 pages
Book Art:Full-color photos and illustrations throughout
Size: 10 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Hardcover: 9781603582964
Pub. Date August 18, 2011

Available In/Retail Price

Hardcover, 304 pages, $85.00