There are several methods of using solar energy: passive and active. For example, passive solar energy does not require mirrors, expensive equipment, and elaborate thin-film characterization tools used in the photovoltaic industry to make active solar energy tools such as solar panels. The way an architect designs a building will be decisive and determine the amount of heat it can retain from the sun, or, conversely, how fast it can cool off in the warmer climates. The house and the windows are designed in such a way that will allow using less technology to maintain the temperature inside. Everything in the construction of a building is being used in passive solar energy – walls, roof, windows, landscaping, etc.
A building used for commercial purposes will be able to reduce energy cost by simply using natural light, as well as create a comfortable temperature inside without the use of air conditioning if it is designed with the right climate in mind. Passive heating can be very efficient when the windows are facing south, also various techniques can be used inside for the building to be able to trap the sun heat. It is very important to know the type of glass you use for the windows. Double-glazed windows, for instance, will not help with heating the way insulated frames with low-e coating will. The opposite effect of cooling can be achieved the same way – picking the right direction of the windows, and using your landscape to provide cooling shades, etc.