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Green Cities Essay

929 words - 4 pages

Ken Butti and John Perlin both open their book with the historical Socrates and Plato criticizing their own country for the deforestation causes by the inadequate technology to heat a home some 2,500 years ago, and that food shortages, shipping and home building industries, and the goat population were also major contributing factors. After some time, it became clear that the sun was an abundant energy source, able to heat homes. This is how solar architecture became to be, as the Greeks learned to harness the sun’s energy to heat the homes in the winter, and cool them in the summer. The Greeks soon started to build an addition to the city Olynthus, which was to be called North Hill. This ...view middle of the document...

After the fall of the Roman Empire, most of Europe ignored the benefits of solar-aware architecture, and was criticized in comparison to China, who, at the time of around the 17th century, remained loyal to the sun’s power, and thrived. Another downfall to the Industrialized society of 1800’s England, was the slums of overcrowded, poor lot of migrant workers. Some problems were answered, as laws and acts started popping up around Europe, addressing the demand and need for sunlight for each resident.
The reform for sunlight sparked interest in France and Germany. Germany started incorporating larger windows and glass heat trapping into their architecture post-war, which was a perfect opportunity for ingenuity and innovation. However, they were too consumed in their architectural imagination, that most of Germany forgot to include the needed sunlight when building their popular and widely used grid-like apartment complexes. In the end, Hugo Haring started the movement to single-unit housing, which correctly implemented the use of southern facing houses/rooms. Besides Germany, not many countries had large solar architectural movements, Switzerland being the runner-up.
America was soon to follow, starting with solar aware single-unit houses, with the author drawing comparisons to that of Spanish communities, but again the idea was shot down by the mass of immigrants pouring into the cities in the mid 1800’s. Certain homes that were specifically designed to implement solar architecture were built and they were praised at and even turned around the beliefs of some originally skeptic critics.
The second article “Solar Energy Planning” takes a look at the beginning of solar...

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