The Thermal Envelope House

The thermal envelope house proves there is more than one way to implement a passive solar design.



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A wintry day provides the perfect setting—and the perfect test—for the thermal envelope house. Sunlight reflected off snow can furnish up to 30% of the home's heating needs
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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The master bedroom offers a choice of views.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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The living room stays warm without help from the wood stove most of the time.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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Young Taro Smith plays on a tire swing, one of the fringe benefits of the greenhouse.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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Tom Smith looks over the second floor balcony. The greenhouse is below him.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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Diagrams shows a cross-section of the envelope house the convection pattern through its inner and outer shells.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF











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