Solar & Environmental Design

Solar Design
Building Technology
Structural Insulated Panel (SIP)

Passive Solar
As an early pioneer in passive solar design, David has designed solar architecture for virtually all climate zones and has authored three books which have helped define the principles of architectural climate design and the types of architectural solutions which are the mainstream concepts today. Throughout his architectural career, hes developed techniques which can address almost any architectural and lifestyle needs in almost any climate zone:
Space Heating
Space Cooling
Domestic Water Heating
Natural Ventilation
Natural Cooling
Daylighting

Active Solar
We are experienced with all types of solar systems, and have organized a team of design and installation consultants who can provide complete services for conditioning needs of any type of building:
Space Heating Needs
Radiant Heating Systems
Domestic Water Heating
Solar Mechanical Systems
Evaporative Cooling Systems

Solar Electric
Our expertise also includes the integration of solar photovoltaic (P.V.) systems with our building designs. We work with consultant teams for design, installation, and maintenance of P.V. roof arrays, remote arrays, battery storage, and grid interface systems for:
Lighting
Sound
Refrigeration
Power
Communications
Cooling
Water pumping

For more information on solar design, please visit:
The Energy Guy
American Solar Energy Society
Planit Solar
Sierra Solar Systems
Felix Electric
RealGoods

Building Technology

As Solar Environmental Architects, we have over 35 years of experience with alternative and appropriate building materials and systems. We’ve designed buildings that integrate structural and finish materials which are non-resource depleting, environmentally green and clean, and which perform well for a wide range of individual and architectural needs. Each project calls for a certain combination of appropriate systems and materials which respond to the climate zone, construction parameters, and budget. We work with a varied team of engineers and builders. Each are experts in their fields. Together we are conversant with, and specialize in, many types of construction, such as:

Adobe
Earth Sheltered
Engineered Lumber
Insulated Concrete (ICF)
Post and Beam
Rammed Earth
Steel Frame
Straw Bale
Structural Insulated Panels (SIP)
Wood Frame

We have a working knowledge of and expertise in many performance type attributes of construction, notably:

Sustainability
High Thermal Efficiency
Daylighting
Natural Ventilation
Fireproofing
Non-Toxicity
Low Maintenance
Earth Quake and Hurricane Resistance
Acoustic Control

Structural Insulated Panel (SIP)
We have been designing Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) system applications for buildings for over 15 years. This relatively new, 30 year old technology, uses material resources in an extremely efficient way. A typical panel is comprised of a solid core of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) with a skin of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) structurally laminated to each side. The resulting panel acts as a stress skin panel or “surf board” type building element. SIP’s exhibit the best characteristics of engineered building materials and systems:

High Strength
High Thermal Performance
Resistance to Insects
Non-Toxic
Exact True and Stable Framing
High Sound Proofing
Extreme Ease and Speed of Construction

The SIP’s are first laid out to best suit the building design, and engineered for the structural requirements. Then a fabrication company prepares CAD Shop Drawings and prefabricates the roof and exterior walls in a shop environment. The labeled and quality checked panels are bundled and delivered to the job site, where a small team erects the structure in a matter of hours or days, rather than days and weeks. They can stand alone or be used as infill on larger wood post and beam or steel frame structures.

We have worked and continue to work with a wide range of materials and structural systems in my architectural design. The majority of our work today includes the introduction of SIP technology for office buildings, commercial buildings and residential applications. We foresee the day that this technology will be mainstream and dominant, perhaps using sustainably harvested material sources. We find the logical integration of old basic technology such as adobe and new high tech systems such as SIP’s particularly satisfying and interesting for today’s architectural solutions.

For more information on panel systems, please visit:
Green Building Systems, Inc.
Structurally Insulated Panel Association (SIPA)
AFM Corporation
ACH Foam Technologies