The question I have for you is in relation to Passive Solar Heating/Cooling. This appears from the general information that I have read to be one of the most economical methods used in the world at present and Germany is on the cutting edge with this.
We are looking at building a new home for my niece just north of Raleigh, NC and inquiring what the most effective way to go about this method. Are there several principles that we need to keep in mind in building a passive solar home?
That part of the country is perfect for a geo-thermal heat pump system if sized correctly, and that will provide the lowest utility cost to heat and cool this home. As far as passive solar, that would reduce winter heating costs, but does nothing for cooling, which will be a large part of this home’s utility costs. Also, if you do not provide proper shading and overhangs, its very easy for a passive solar-heated thermal mass to over-heat a home.
If you do go down this road, I suggest an exterior glass-covered Trombe thermal-mass wall design, which allows closing off from the interior space when required to control temperature. There are many texts on this subject, but my advice is whatever you do, keep it simple.