Passive Solar Design

Passive solar design involves utilizing a building’s basic elements—walls, windows and floors—to produce a comfortable environment with less reliance on mechanical heating and cooling.


Passive solar systems can provide space heating, natural ventilation, cooling load avoidance, daylighting and water heating. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 30 to 50% energy cost reductions are economically realistic in new office design with an optimum mix of energy conservation and passive solar design strategies.

In addition, most passive solar design strategies integrate well with active solar applications such as photovoltaics.

Concrete masonry plays a vital role in effective passive solar design, by providing thermal mass to absorb and slowly release solar heat.

Without sufficient thermal mass, passive solar buildings can overheat and be uncomfortable.

A Concrete Masonry Check-off program will support the growth of the industry by educating designers, contractors, and installers as well as regulators, students, and owners about how to best take advantage of what concrete masonry has to offer. It will provide for significant and sustained research and development for existing and evolving concrete masonry products and systems, and it will enable the industry to better promote the product's benefits. The check-off program will leverage the combined strength of the entire concrete masonry industry while supplying the necessary funding to support industry initiatives and coordinate promotion at the local, state, regional and national levels.
(C) 2018, The Concrete Masonry Check-off Program Leadership Team