When I was younger, a friend of mine lived in a passive solar house. Every time I walk in front of Walmart in the evening after another brutal Florida summer day, I am reminded of that house. The way the house passively collected and used the solar energy was because it was positioned to face south and because of the sun room.
It is all about “R” value, baby! The front room of her house had a huge window wall, and the flooring in that room was concrete block. Apparently, various types of building materials have a different R value. R value, is a rating of how well a material or method of building absorbs and retains heat to be released later.
I had an idea regarding passive solar heating of the tiny house. Based on the model of the front of the Walmart, (and concrete block does have a fairly high R value), a parking space could be built for the Tiny House that would also help to heat it. During the summer, the tiny could be actually rolled BEHIND the wall into the shade in order to help keep it cool. This passive solar parking spot would be in addition to any other passive solar features already in the home. A great thing about tiny houses is that they can be positioned to get the most effective use of the sun, and can be re-positioned to eschew it.
My proposed “passive solar parking spot” would consist of a concrete slab larger than the tiny to be laid and a concrete wall built on one side. Ideally, this would face south with unobstructed access to the rays of the sun. The tiny would not actually have to be there during the day, but could be rolled into place at night, as you wish. I would build the wall of concrete block. You can find this type of block with attractive surfaces, and I would build the wall as high as you can afford. This wall could be between five feet- to the height of the tiny itself. Of course this should be done by someone who knows how to build walls safely! I do not recommend a novice build block walls for this reason. Make sure you check out building codes in your area.
Many a time walking past the shimmering rays of heat rising from the concrete or asphalt, I have considered how this energy could be used. A south facing passive solar parking spot for the tiny would be a great way to collect this free utility and harness it to heat your tiny home.
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