A Trombe (TROM-bee) wall is a passive solar device consisting of a thick sun-facing masonry wall (thermal mass) to absorb the sun's energy, combined with an air space and insulated glass. It was developed in the 1950s by Felix Trombe.

While the sun is shining, optical energy travels through and is trapped beneath the glass and absorbed by the masonry wall. The energy stored in the wall is then released slowly to the interior of the building when the sun is no longer shining. Using the sun's stored energy to heat your home reduces your conventional energy consumption.

During the summertime when heating energy isn't needed, the sun is higher in the sky and usually a Trombe wall has an overhang on it. The sun hits that overhang and bounces back rather than being collected and dispersed by the masonry wall.

More from this category

Insulated concrete forms

Insulated concrete forms in the ground

An insulated concrete form (ICF) system eliminates the cold drafts typical of wood-frame construction.

learn more

Modular homes

Modular home assembly in a factory

Modular homes are built in a factory under controlled conditions, then shipped to the homesite and placed on a permanent foundation.

learn more

Energy rater and performance consultant

Energy rater performing analysis on a front door

An energy rater can help make your new home more energy-efficient through every stage of the construction process.

learn more

Roof and attic

Trusses in an attic

Your roof and attic play the most crucial role in your home's energy efficiency system, reducing your energy costs during the winter and summer.

learn more

Net Zero Community

Two people walking into a new home

Check out a new neighborhood concept and see how one builder is changing the way homes are built with a goal to use zero energy.

LEARN MORE

Choosing energy-smart products

Mom and daughters playing in leaves

When building your new home, don't forget about the importance of energy-conserving products like furnaces, air conditioners and appliances.

learn more

Green home construction

Building materials, blueprints and paint chips

More builders are offering sustainable choices in new home construction. Find out what's available and how it impacts the earth and the bottom line.

learn more

Building an energy-smart house

Pete and Megan talking with homeowners

Hear from real homeowners and builders who made energy efficiency a priority.

learn more

 

Air quality and ventilation in new homes

Man showing ductwork to Pete and Megan

New, energy-efficient homes need new solutions to circulate and ventilate the air inside the home.

learn more