Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Architectural Studies - (M.S.A.S.)

Department

School of Architecture

First Advisor

Erv L. Bales

Second Advisor

Barry S. Jackson

Third Advisor

Irene E. Ayad

Abstract

The Ramirez Solar House in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is an early historic example of passive solar design. The house was designed by Henry N. Wright, a significant contributor in solar research. Wright's 1944 design with a large window wall and generous overhangs represents a significant step in solar design development. The house, now under the stewardship of National Park Service, has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.

The Ramirez House's solar performance was a subject of this study. Instrumentation was set up to record temperatures, humidity and illumination in the unoccupied and un-heated building. The data, collected over eleven month period, clearly shows the house collects the sun's energy on a sunny winter days confirming the anticipated performance based on current solar design knowledge. Comparative performance simulations indicate that improvements to the envelope and the addition of thermal mass would significantly enhance thermal performance of the house. Any renovations and changes must be considered in context of historical preservation guidelines. This study proposes adapting the house into a solar museum and study center, and making improvements to its solar performance part of the educational displays.

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