Re: Passive cooling
From: Art Gorski (
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 12:44:04 -0600 (MDT)

On Tuesday, May 6, 2003, at 10:10  AM, Danny Milman wrote:

Pleasant Hill Cohousing also has 3 foot eaves, a radiant barrier on the
underside of the roof sheathing, metal roofs, thick light colored stucco
walls, 10" slabs on grade for thermal massing, and a lot of insulation
including perimeter insulation on the foundation and wet blown cellulose
insulation in the walls and ceiling for a total higher R value than is

From: "Terri Hupfer" <gordita [at]>

Here in Pleasant Hill we have a variety of passive cooling methods built in to avoid the need for central air. First is a metal reflective roof, then metalized insulation sheets under the roof, then 2 x 6's instead of 2 x 4's giving thicker walls and more insulation. Most of us have whole house fans, to blow off the hot air and suck in the cool at night. We have double-paned windows and many have double-celled mini blinds which we keep closed in the heat of the day. There might be a couple things I missed, but those are the
major ones.

The plans for my home in Manzanita Village (north central Arizona) are at the city for approval, so hopefully it'll start construction soon. MVC has a lot of these same features in the 'standard' units: stucco walls, wet blown cellulose insulation, whole house fans and/or evaporative coolers, double-paned windows (probably mandatory these days), radiant heat in colored concrete floors downstairs and under laminate/tile/etc. on second story floors, casement or awning windows.

In my custom home I don't intend to use air conditioning. A typical summer day is very dry with a high of 90 and a low of 59, so even in the monsoon I think the inside temp is tolerable with ceiling fans and the whole house fan. Other custom features I've specified are: house oriented to solar south, roof overhangs or shade structures over southern windows, radiant barrier roof sheathing.

Our architectural scheme for all units is composition shingles with ridge vent. I'm not sure what you gain with a metal roof if you use the radiant barrier and have a well-ventilated attic.

Art Gorski    <>
90% Houston, Texas and 10% Prescott, Arizona

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