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close this bookDesign Handbook on Passive Solar Heating and Natural Cooling (HABITAT, 1990, 162 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsI. Principles of passive solar architecture
Open this folder and view contentsII. The Australian climates and people
Open this folder and view contentsIII. Fundamentals of heat flow
Open this folder and view contentsIV. Thermal comfort
Open this folder and view contentsV. Basic design principles and strategies
Open this folder and view contentsVI. Bio-climatic analysis and comfort strategies
Open this folder and view contentsVII. Detail design
Open this folder and view contentsVIII. Final design evaluation
View the documentAnnex I: Relevant Australian standards
View the documentAnnex II: Glossary of terms
View the documentAnnex III: Metric units of measurements
View the documentAnnex IV: Typical internal heat loads for appliances
View the documentAnnex V: Minimum additional thermal resistance requirements
View the documentAnnex VI: Climate data for Sydney region - mean daily insolation for Sydney
View the documentAnnex VII: Selected thermal properties of various building material
View the documentAnnex VIII: Selected u-values and r-values
View the documentAnnex IX: Heating degree day data - new south Wales
View the documentAnnex X: Glass-mass performance graphs
View the documentAnnex XI: Appraisal graphs for the 5-star design rating system
View the documentAnnex XII: Sun position charts for Australian capital cities
View the documentAnnex XIII: Bibliography and suggested reading


In line with the recommendations on energy of HABITAT: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) has been actively promoting energy conservation and the more efficient use of energy in human settlements over the years. The Centre has been regularly publishing reports aimed at alerting policy-makers and practitioners on the importance and implications of energy requirements and conservation in human settlements.

The process of producing electricity, which is generally the main form of energy supplied to buildings, is, unavoidably, very inefficient. The overall efficiency of electricity production, from the power station to the consumer, is little more than 20 per cent. Hence, for every unit of electrical energy that is saved in a building, up to five times that value is saved at the power station in terms of primary energy. Furthermore, by reducing energy consumption, power demand is also reduced. This reduction in power demand can lead to lowering the peak demand on the supply system. As the level of investment in expensive generating plant is in direct proportion to the peak demand, this reduction in power demands can lead to a national saving in capital investment. Passive solar heating and natural cooling of buildings, which are two ways of reducing commercial energy consumption without reducing comfort in buildings can thus lead to financial benefits, both at the consumer and at the national levels.

This publication has been prepared to act as a prototype handbook for the passive solar heating and natural cooling design of buildings. For reasons of simplicity and availability of resources, Australia has been chosen as the location for the prototype as information relevant to three distinct climatic regions, namely cool-temperate, hot-arid, and warm-humid could be presented.

Whilst the social and cultural environment in Australia is different from that in most developing countries, it was felt that for a prototype document the other factors in the thermal design process, especially available climatic data, outweigh this difficulty. Nevertheless, as a prototype this document will be relevant to many countries, especially those of the Asian and Pacific Basin and of parts of Africa. It is, therefore, hoped that this handbook will prove useful to designers in Australia, and in other countries, both developed and developing.

I wish to acknowledge the contributions of Professor John A. Ballinger in the preparation of this publication and of Mr. David Oppenheim who prepared the illustrations.

Dr. Arcot Ramachandran,
Under-Secretary General,
Executive Director.