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Modern Passive-Solar Design of Willow Bend Environmental Center

This is one of my favorite buildings because of how well—and how simply—it has been designed in relationship with the sun’s seasonally changing path in the sky. I’ve always found it to be very comfortable inside without any mechanical heating or cooling. The photos were taken at noon on the summer and winter solstice to illustrate how well the sun is harvested in winter, and shade is harvested in summer.

Thanks to the passive heating and cooling, eliminating the need for mechanical heating and cooling—and its associated power needs, the active rooftop solar PV panel array is small, saving still more money and resources.

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Passive SystemsSun and Shade Harvesting