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A House in the SunModern Architecture and Solar Energy in the Cold War$
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Daniel Barber

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199394012

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199394012.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

 Discovering Renewable Resources

 Discovering Renewable Resources

(p.63) 3  Discovering Renewable Resources
A House in the Sun

Daniel A. Barber

Oxford University Press

After World War II, architecture was only one of many technological realms to be redefined in the search to harness energy from the sun. Much as the specific design characteristics of solar energy became embedded in architectural modernism, renewable energy more generally became a dynamic site for research and innovation. A “Solar Energy Fund” was started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led by the mechanical engineer Hoyt Hottel. In response to a heating oil shortage over the winter of 1947-1948, energy forecasting emerged as a new subfield of economics; figures as diverse as R. Buckminster Fuller, Harold Barnett, and Eugene Ayres proposed different scenarios for a long-term energy transition, and with different ways of assessing solar energy’s potential. Renewable resources, referred to as “income energy sources” played an important, if contested, role. An ethics of environmental responsibility began to inflect professional, bureaucratic, and governmental activities as the solar house was charged with complex political significance beyond its energy-efficient potential.

Keywords:   R. Buckminster Fuller, Eugene Ayres, M. King Hubbert, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hoyt Hottel, Solar Energy, Modern Architecture, Energy Scarcity, Harold Barnett, Energy Forecasting, Oil Crisis

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