(above) The Dover Sun House on the cover of the March 1949 issue of Popular Science; MIT chemical engineer
1948: The Dover Sun House
In his second column on visionary eco-buildings of the 20th century, Dr Marc Ó Riain looks at the Dover Sun House, which used a pioneering salt solution to capture and store solar energyMaria Telkes, whose work on using phase change materials as energy stores was central to the project.
This article was originally published in issue 24 of Passive House Plus magazine. Want immediate access to all back issues and exclusive extra content? Click here to subscribe for as little as €10, or click here to receive the next issue free of charge
There are two paradigms in low energy building. The first is based on energy replacement technologies and the second is based on energy conservation. In the coming set of articles, we will explore seminal mid-century exemplars that would give rise to passive house principles. This article tracks the work of two pioneering women who smashed the glass ceilings of architecture and engineering to produce one of the first active solar buildings.
Human application of technologies during World War Two shifted societal perception to a position that we believed our destiny was in our own hands and any social issue could be resolved by the proper application of technology. The world faced a shortage of oil and coal after 1945 and up to the discovery of Middle Eastern oil reserves (Ilkes 1944).