For this project we really wanted to focus on maximizing passive solar strategies, because we felt that it is important to utilize first the natural resources before implementing mechanical devices, which can be more or less used without significant changes throughout various projects/housing/complex designs. The extent and way in which passive solar strategies are applied is what makes each project unique.
Natural Sunlight (Top Image):
According to the angle of the sun or it’s height in the sky, roof overhang can limit direct sunlight penetrating the windows to reduce heat. As the sun sets and lower level sun during the winter, solar gain can be optimized with large south facing windows and a deep floor plan.
Ventilation (Bottom Image):
By having a mainly open floorplan, in conjunction with strategically placed windows and doors, a cross stack ventilation system can be achieved. Air would come in through the open windows and doors on the first floor, follow up the staircase towards the middle of each housing unit and disperse itself through interior doors and then exit through upper storey windows. Proper ventilation can be used to cool interior spaces during summer months and allow for proper air flow of heat during summer to prevent overheating (similarly reducing the need for energy-intensive forms of heating and cooling).
In addition to passive methods of utilizing natural resources, we will use mechanical devices to accumulate energy. Such mechanical devices that we plan on implementing are solar panels (in the form of solar shingles on our roofs), geothermal devices to make use of natural heat within the Earth as well as using cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP) which effectively and efficiently produces electricity while utilizing ‘waste’ heat that is created in the process.