passive solar house -Passive solar glass home: watching the sun move

August 29, 2012 – 9:28 am

** A dream house passive solar in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “As long as you live in a glass house do not think you can see as much as the sun moves,” explains homeowner Cliff Butler. “We see this move every day.” Video Rating: 4 / 5

The Henry P. ** Glass House in Northfield is, some contend, the first passive solar house in America. The glass was trained as an architect in Austria but fled to America and became better known as an author, furniture designer and inventor. It ‘been called “one of the most brilliant inventors and designers of the twentieth century.” The house at 245 Dickens in Northfield is offered for sale at $ 449,000. The house at 245 Dickens in Northfield is offered for sale at $ 449,000. Video Rating: 3 / 5

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  1. 38 Responses to “passive solar house -Passive solar glass home: watching the sun move”

  2. Awesome house

    By crazywaffleking on Aug 29, 2012

  3. Here’s a transcription of the last minute of our conversation:

    Kirsten- What gets me is you’re not an architect?
    Cliff- No I’m just a tightwad.
    Kirsten- Is that really all?
    Cliff- No I really do hate using up resources. Oil, gas…
    Kirsten- Why?
    Cliff- It just makes you dependent on other people. The least you can use of natural resources the better, don’t you agree?

    By kirstendirksen on Aug 29, 2012

  4. I didn’t catch what he said at the end…. anybody?…

    By victorenriquemunoz on Aug 29, 2012

  5. What a fabulous house

    By hcrompton1 on Aug 29, 2012

  6. This was the video that got me hooked on this channel.

    By ExLionTamer13 on Aug 29, 2012

  7. I love this guy…he is a brilliant designer, What a great house!

    By billbolen64 on Aug 29, 2012

  8. Loss through the Homes windows and doors will cost 50% of the utility bills.

    By MrSchpankme on Aug 29, 2012

  9. This year I covered my only skylight with yellow towels which blocked the direct sun into an interior bathroom but still let the light in. I also blocked more western sun by putting my large plants outside in front of those windows and I plan to add a tarp over the deck. I’m sure you noticed the wood stove which is a great backup for heat.

    By Cliff9505 on Aug 29, 2012

  10. Thanks, I just turned it around.

    By Cliff9505 on Aug 29, 2012

  11. He should know he’s displaying his flag incorrectly. Stars go to the upper left.

    By dick117 on Aug 29, 2012

  12. You’re not a tight wad, just a visionary. Nice home. I wish others thought as you did. I’m sure there are some greenies that give you a hard time because you didn’t use the most green material.

    By 1timby on Aug 29, 2012

  13. What a gorgeous home!

    By Specialized1989 on Aug 29, 2012

  14. I wanted to answer some of the questions.
    1timby-in the late 70’s most houses were built with single pane glass. We put in the best double pane windows we could find. We turn the heat down at night to 62 degrees and, as long as the temperature doesn’t go below 38 outside, the heat will not come on all night. When temperatures go below 34 degrees, I load up the wood stove which will keep the heat from coming on and some nights I just keep a couple of candles burning.

    By Cliff9505 on Aug 29, 2012

  15. The windows are double pane (if I built today I would use triple pane) and we turn the heat down to 62 degrees every night. if the temperature stays above 38 degrees, our heat does not come on durning the night. If the temperature goes below freezing, I build a fire in the wood stove.

    By Cliff9505 on Aug 29, 2012

  16. We cover the furniture with cloth during the winter months.

    By Cliff9505 on Aug 29, 2012

  17. Hell yeah way to go. what an inspiration

    By justinsteeley on Aug 29, 2012

  18. i would think that the sunlight would rapidly fade all home furnishings and interior

    By polok890 on Aug 29, 2012

  19. I was always told that glass was a poor insulator. Since there is so much glazing, how do you keep the temps from dropping at night?

    Also, are your windows triple panes with low-e coatings?

    By 1timby on Aug 29, 2012

  20. this is great and a very nice home i make alot of solar stuff my self because i cant afford to buy it ie soler panels, soler hot water heater, gasifers, solar heaters and im gather up stuff to biuld my home i cant wait i think in about a year or a year and a half i will have all the material to biuld my home with little to no money but a hole lot of labor i plan to use the passive solar in my home also i wish you all the best

    the cheap guy

    By iwantosavemoney on Aug 29, 2012

  21. This guy is the best. I hope he has floor plans for this home.

    By itisphoto on Aug 29, 2012

  22. I am that guy!!! “Just a tight wad!” heeheheeh… genius! I totally want to build this kind of place for the sole reason that I am cheap and I hate paying utility bills. Awesome vid, 5 stars.

    By geojibby on Aug 29, 2012

  23. This home is the perfect example of good architecture and great engineering. Simple and functional with minimal use of resources.

    By TheJimDandy2008 on Aug 29, 2012

  24. Start studying the styles of houses like these and start looking around. Most people are too blind to see the style elements from local architects have spread across the region, especially Chicago. I’ve walked by Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture in Holland.

    By bluejay87 on Aug 30, 2012

  25. you are correct. The berm is a water resource feature. I think it is a permaculture principle. Mr. glass was definitely ahead of his time. After reading anabelle1938 and armandthebuilder, I believe that Mr. Glass may continue to be ahead of his time for quite a few millennia. Can you imagine the number of energy hogging homes that have been built and are being built right now that pay no heed to even 1 principle of passive solar design? It’s like swiping the energy credit card.

    By avenevaconsulting on Aug 30, 2012

  26. Are you a builder? The genius of a passive solar house is lost on most builders. Builders are conditioned by their markets, customers, and suppliers to slap up a stick built house with energy intensive heating and cooling systems that cost the future owners at least hundreds of dollars every month, FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. It takes a visionary like Mr. Glass to defy contemporary wisdom and design a home that heats and cools itself.

    By avenevaconsulting on Aug 30, 2012

  27. The comment that it doesn’t fit in because the “style doesnt work around here” shows a total lack of appreciation for vintage contemporary design. Someone needs to save this house, invest in its restoration and enjoy the benefits it has.  It would be well worth the cost and effort! It is a piece of design history.

    By SoulProf on Aug 30, 2012

  28. As an Industrial Designer myself, Henry Glass is well-known to me…a design icon and master at Furniture design. The built-ins and creative elements of the house are surprisingly wonderful touches. It would be hard to find something with this unique character, the likes of a Frank Lloyd Wright or Neutra house.

    By SoulProf on Aug 30, 2012

  29. Frankly I am surprised by the negative comments about the Henry P. Glass house. OK folks…there are some issues. But it was built in 1948 using materials that were commonly in use at that time! Like most un-restored homes from this era, there is a lot to do to bring it up to current standards. That shouldn’t stop someone with vision who is willing to invest in a one-of-a-kind property. 

    By SoulProf on Aug 30, 2012

  30. Frankly I am surprised by the negative comments about the Henry P. Glass house. OK folks…there are some issues. But it was built in 1948 using materials that were commonly in use at that time! Like most un-restored homes from this era, there is a lot to do to bring it up to current standards. That shouldn’t stop someone with vision who is willing to invest in a one-of-a-kind property.

    By SoulProf on Aug 30, 2012

  31. I just toured the house. To me it is a remarkable design! However, as a contractor’s wife, I can see the amount ( and cost) of the rehabbing that needs to be done. But I adore its concept. Perhaps, Like Frank Lloyd Wright, he wasn’t much of a builder, but — the way he incorporated the outdoors, the concept of the built-ins, and the passive solar aspect ( I previously lived in a Keck & Keck townhouse which also incorporated some of these elements.- brilliant).

    By twbeaver1 on Aug 30, 2012

  32. I’ll bet she knows how to spell berm!

    By YoChicago1 on Aug 30, 2012

  33. I just walked the property cause I thought it would be a special house but its a shack! annabelle is right the realtor doesnt know anything. she says black painted surface floor there is no paint just asbestos tiles. she says its ahead of its time why is this one of only a few around because the style doesnt work around here! just looking through the windows I can see a lot of water stains you will always have problems with the roof design. She raves about the burm it just a pile of dirt!

    By armandthebuilder on Aug 30, 2012

  34. I’m not a home inspector, nor is the Realtor. If your comments are accurate, they simply affect value.

    The condition of the home doesn’t affect its historical interest or the reputation of the designer.

    By YoChicago1 on Aug 30, 2012

  35. I would not live there if they gave it to me for free. They should re-title the video to THE FIRST OLD ROTTEN DRAFTY ASBESTOS HOUSE IN AMERICA by henry p glass

    By anabelle1938 on Aug 30, 2012

  36. She makes it sound like this house changed the world and if it did we are all in trouble!!! If she likes it so much she should go live there.

    By anabelle1938 on Aug 30, 2012

  37. (cont.) which are always hard to fix on a slab. This style house only works in places like Colorado when the sun shines bright and it does not get -10*F it too cold and too overcast in Chicago winters.This is just a 3 season cabin you would be better off with a brick ranch that has insulation it would be so expensive to heat this house and the slab would be so cold in the winter the furnace probably never shuts off.

    By anabelle1938 on Aug 30, 2012

  38. (cont) floor they used a cardboard that is rotten and full of mold and bugs. The windows or as she call solar panels are full of bb holes and a white haze from water leaking through the walls. the leaks are endless the roof leaks and will always leak due to the poor design for our climate the walls leak, the plumbing pipes and in the studio the pipes have burst.

    By anabelle1938 on Aug 30, 2012

  39. I went to the open house. this house is a piece of junk and the realtor does not know anything about construction!! See talks about a black painted floor, it has 2k sq ft of asbestos tile floor that needs to be removed and would be expensive to dispose. the exterior is all rotten and has no sheating behind the siding which lets all the cold air in. The foundation or lack there of is so poorly build it sags in many spots which is very expensive to fix. the heating system ductwork goes through the

    By anabelle1938 on Aug 30, 2012

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