Black River Construction Plymouth County, Massachusetts – 1976
The goal of this project was to create an inexpensive passively-heated home. The house is a standard “raised ranch” commonly built by a local contractor and is set into a south-facing hillside. Black River Construction designed and built the south wall which is entirely translucent or transparent. The upper floor wall, where not windows, consists of a layer of bowed translucent fiberglass and three layers of Dupont Tedlar separated by 1″ dead airspaces. Inside the quadruple glazing is an aluminized canvas shade in tracks that can be closed at night or during cloudy weather to suppress convection and retain heat. Overheating is controlled by a wall of sealed 5 gallon drums containing water, antifreeze and corrosion inhibitor. The lower floor the wall is double-glazed and backed by operable insulated louvers. An insulated concrete floor slab provides thermal mass.