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Solar Architecture and Green Building


Bernheim Arboretum Visitors Center

The visitor center at the Bernheim Arboretum in Clairmont, Kentucky, is a simple post-and-beam structure of reclaimed and sustainably harvested woods—including cypress planks salvaged from pickle barrels—echoes the rhythms of the trees and frames views of the surroundings. Like the forest of which it’s a part, the building captures light, water, and air to the benefit of the surrounding landscape. Much of the roof is vegetated, producing oxygen and absorbing rainwater. Photovoltaics produce energy on site. Ponds collect rainwater for reuse and provide visual, acoustic, and thermal comfort. Geothermal heating and cooling creates a quiet environment and connects the building to the earth.  ©2009 William McDonough + Partners




Bernheim Arboretum Building Mimics Tree (USA)

"The Bernheim Visitor Center represented a magical opportunity; a chance to design a building like a tree. Made up of biological and technical 'nutrients' the building exemplifies the Cradle to Cradle approach to design. Imagine a building like a ...more


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SunAngle Calculator

Calculates solar angles based on location, date, and time. It's useful in passive solar building design, PV and solar thermal system design and ...more


EcoCalculator for Buildings from the Athena Instit

In North America, the ATHENA® Impact Estimator for buildings is the only software tool that evaluates whole buildings and assemblies based on ...more


Solar Radiation Data Manual Online (USA)

The Solar Radiation Data Manual for Flat-Plate and Concentrating Collectors is available on the RReDC in HTML and PDF format. Individual PDF files ...more


Solar Panel Shading Calculator

This tool lets you calculate the degree to which rows of flat solar collector panels (solar thermal or PV) shade each other. The development and ...more


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Zero Energy Building Certification (USA)

The Zero Energy Building Certification is offered after a project submits 12 consecutive months of net-zero-energy performance data. The program ...more


Living Building Case Studies

These case studies describe projects that have been certified as Living Buildings or Zero Energy Buildings., both of which require 12 months of ...more


Underwood Solar Future (Pittsburgh, USA)

Underwood Solar Future provides full-service solar panel estimating and installation for commercial businesses and residential properties at fair ...more


Ellensburg Solar (Washington State, USA)

Ellensburg Solar serves Washington State for both residential and commercial solar installations.

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