Passive Solar Mudbrick House

Passive Solar Mudbrick House

My home is a passive solar mudbrick house. The front wall, shown in this picture, points very close to due north. The house has a cement render to protect the mud bricks from rain. The windows on the north side of the house (this is the southern hemisphere, so the sun is to our north) are large to let in lots of sun during the winter. During the height of the summer the sun is within 11° of being directly overhead at noon so the small overhang provided by the eaves is sufficient to prevent direct sunlight from entering the house through the northern windows.

The house is thermally massive and has thick (wool flock) insulation in the roof space. This keeps the house cool in summer and warm in winter. There are very few days in the year when the inside temperature is too high for comfort. This is in contrast to most modern homes in South Australia that require air conditioning for comfort in the summer.

I have a solar hot water system installed on the roof. It provides all of our hot water in the summer. However the slope of the roof is too shallow for it to be very effective in the winter. To heat water in the winter I use a wood fired cooker that also has a water jacket for water heating. All of the wood for the fire comes from a sustainable harvesting of trees on the property.

Last updated: 19 September 2007 at 7:03am. Comments? Email: Dr Michael Baker. Based on Design by Colombia Hosting