Passive Solar Greenhouse

Hudson Valley, New York


This passive solar greenhouse is located in a city-owned park in the Hudson Valley, designed as part of a local initiative to unite people around healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. In addition to growing produce year-round, the greenhouse will also provide classroom spaces for hands-on learning and community engagement.

Unlike typical greenhouses that burn fossil fuels in the winter, this greenhouse is shaped by passive solar design principles that allow it to stay cool in the summer months while retaining warmth in the winter.

One of its main features is a north-facing mass wall, built of rammed earth with a black biochar finish coating. The wall captures the low rays of the winter sun, banking heat during the day and releasing it into the space during the night. A south-facing polycarbonate roof maximizes solar exposure and stretches growing conditions year-round.

In the summer, operable windows allow for cross ventilation and hop vines that climb up the southern roof will provide partial shade. Rainwater is also collected from the building’s roofs for plant irrigation.

Program: Greenhouse and Community Center
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam, Emily Gruendel, Caleb White
Status: Proposal
Year: 2017