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Glossary

Terms for Architecture, Green Building & Energy


This glossary includes more than 300 solar terms, as well as hundreds of additional sustainable design and construction terms.

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Earth Tube

Definition 1: Below-ground earth ducts can be used to provide passive pre-heating and pre-cooling of fresh air. This is because the ground is generally at a constant temperature. Air passing through below ground ducts interacts with the surfaces of the ductwork and heat exchange occurs thereby reducing/increasing the temperature of the fresh air dependent upon the external temperature.

Definition 2: Earthtubes are low-tech, non-electric, passive geothermal solar heating and solar cooling systems underground. Earthtubing utilizes conventional, thin wall plastic sewer/drain/vent pipe to passively (zero-energy) pre-heat a building's fresh air intake. Filtered fresh air enters a series of non-porous pipes embedded around the interior of a building's foundation, absorbing energy from the surrounding soil, moderating the temperature of fresh air intake.