Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



At the very time the world economy, particularly the economies of the industrialized countries, is becoming increasingly dependent on the consumption of energy, there is a growing realization that the main sources of this energy, the earth's nonrenewable fossil fuel reserves, will inevitably be exhausted. The eventual solution to this energy problem depends not only on developing alternative sources of energy but also on devising new methods of energy conversion. Solar energy is diffuse, but its abundance makes it a major energy resource for the United States and for the world. Being an incoming source of energy, solar energy is not exhaustible, and its development appears most desirable as a relief for the fossil fuels. Technically, solar energy systems have been shown to be feasible in that it is possible to design and construct systems that will convert solar incident radiation for various purposes such as heating and refrigeration. For example, a system employing fan-coil units and absorption refrigeration equipment works very well with solar energy since both mechanical equipment units can receive their working fluid in the form of hot water which could be supplied by the solar collector. The chief advantage of absorption refrigeration equipment is that it requires very little electrical power since the mechanical compression is replaced by chemical effects, hot water, and a circulating pump. The utilization of solar energy would be an important means for energy conservation since it would replace the use of fossil fuels that supplied the low temperature energy for heating and cooling of buildings. Therefore, the use of solar energy to provide this low temperature heat for buildings should be coupled with efforts to improve the thermal performance of the buildings themselves. This is the key to all solar applications. To further the research and development of solar energy application, the public should be educated as to the benefits which solar energy can bestow by analyzing the life--cycle-costing of future building construction. Also, the Federal Government should act as the catalyst in establishing prototype funding for future Federal buildings utilizing the sun as a percentage of its power source.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Robert Carl Cohlmeyer

Second Committee Member

Don Paul Schlegel

Third Committee Member

Michel Louis Roger Pillet

Fourth Committee Member

Paul Lusk

Included in

Architecture Commons