George Bernard Shaw's Early Passivhaus

shaw passivhaus shed

TreeHugger has shown George Bernard Shaw's wonderful rotating writing hut before, and a number of rotating houses that follow the sun. But Greg Denisiuk of An Honest Architecture (via shedworking) makes a very interesting point; perhaps designers interested in Passivhaus, or Passive Houses, should be looking more closely at rotating houses.


Image credit An Honest Architecture

Greg, who discovered the Shaw Hut in Lester Walker's wonderful book "A Little House of My Own", notes the Passivhaus possibilities:

1. It allowed George to write in his hut without having to use an artificial light source. He would just get up (which was a good and healthy thing to do anyway) and give the hut a little turn towards the light.

2. It limited the windows needed for direct light to enter the space. This is important in cold weather. More glass in the cold months made for a cooler working space. By limiting windows to one side of the shed (with only one other window opposite the door) made it possible to work in the hut even in cooler months.

3.The direct sunlight entering the hut created passive solar heating within. Limiting the windows to the one side facing the sun also reduced the amount of heat loss.

4. Last but not least, Bernard was able to pivot the hut in the summer to create a shaded space (passive shading) whenever he desired to do so. Opening the only operable window opposite the open door created natural ventilation.

I wonder how long it will be until someone builds the first rotating Passivhaus. More at An Honest Architecture.

More rotating houses:

Seven Rotating Houses and Towers That Turn Our Crank
1935: Villa Girasole: Rotating House Follows the Sun
Everingham Rotating House: Thinking Outside the Square

Follow lloydalter on Twitter

Related Content on