Steve Baer

Steve Baer

Steve Baer (1938-) is an American inventor and solar and residential designer. Baer has served on the board of directors of the U.S. Section of the International Solar Energy Society, and on the board of the New Mexico Solar Energy Association.

Steve Baer was born in Los Angeles. In his teens, he read Lewis Mumford and decided technology needn’t necessarily degrade or complicate people's lives. In the latter 1950s, Baer worked at various jobs and attended Amherst College and UCLA. In 1960, he joined the U.S. Army, being stationed in Germany for three years. He also was married in 1960. After discharge from the Army, he and his wife, Holly settled in Zurich, Switzerland, where he worked as a welder and attended Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, studying mathematics. Here he became interested in the possibilities of building innovative structures using polyhedra (non-rectangular polyhedrons).

Baer and his wife moved back to the United States, settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Baer initially worked as a welder of trailer frames for the Fruehauf Trailer Services company. However, he soon went into business by forming a small company called Zomeworks with Barry Hickman and Ed Heinz. The partners experimented with constructing buildings of unusual geometries that they came to call "zomes", often using heavy sheet metal as the main exterior material. Some of the earliest experiments were carried out in cooperation with members of the intentional communities Drop City and Manara Nueva.

During this time Baer had also become interested in utilizing solar energy for direct heating of buildings, inspired by reading Farrington Daniels' "Direct Use of the Sun’s Energy". He began to experiment with practical methods, always seeking to simplify his approach as the experiments proceeded. Steve Baer was a key organizer of an important grassroots Western-American conference, Alloy, focusing on these matters. Because the conference was spotlighted in the "Whole Earth Catalog", Baer and Zomeworks became better known among solar enthusiasts in the U.S. Baer also was known as the author of "Dome Cookbook" and "Zome Primer".

In the early years at Zomeworks, Baer was able to work fruitfully with other innovators and idea people, such as the solar designer Day Chahroudi, Dave Harrison, and Dick Henry. In 1975, Zomeworks published a useful, succinct illustrated book, "Sunspots", written by Baer and illustrated by Criss-Cross; focusing on solar-design principles, the book was notable for its cognizance and insights.

One of Zomeworks' inventions was the now-expired patented Beadwall, which consists of two sheets of glass with small styrofoam beads blown in the space between them by an air pump at night to insulate the window areas of the building (the beads being removed by vacuum action in the morning). The design is somewhat similar to the drum wall.

Baer’s approach has been to develop strategies and products that simplify rather than complicate; things that add to, rather than detract from, the self-sufficiency of a building and its occupants. The “Track Rack” solar tracker which Baer and Zomeworks staff developed is a metal-framed passive-solar dynamic mounting for photovoltaic (PV) modules. With an ingenious arrangement of cylinders, pistons, and tubing, the device uses the differential pressure and movement of entrapped liquid to enable gravity to turn the rack and follow the sun. Depending on heat and hydraulics, and without motors, gears, or computerized controls, the rack enables the PV module to face the sun ("sunflower-wise") for maximum efficiency. To fit into the developing solar energy industry, Zomeworks has designed and builds several Track Racks to fit all common photovoltaic modules.

Another innovation, the Skylight Tracker, has a dual purpose: it shades a skylight for indirect daytime lighting while making electricity from PV panels built into the shading slats.

Besides designing, testing, and fabricating solar-energy equipment, Baer and his company have provided consulting services to architects. Baer's design work was included in the Contemporary Developments in Design Science exhibit at St. John the Divine Cathedral, New York City, in 1995.

Baer's unconventional "zome" building-design approach, with its multi-faceted geometric lines, has been taken up by French builders in the Pyrenees. A 2004 book, "Home Work" edited by Lloyd Kahn, has a section featuring these buildings.

While Zomeworks has been known mainly for exploring passive solar strategies and equipment, some of the equipment the company has developed more recently, for solar-driven space cooling, has used active-solar principles.


*Zome History Page []
*Kahn, Lloyd, "Home Work". Bolinas, CA: Shelter Publications. 2004
*Baer, Steve, "Sunspots". Albuquerque, NM: Zomeworks. 1975
*Brand, Stewart, ed., "The Last Whole Earth Catalog". Palo Alto, CA: Portola Institute. 1971
*"The Plowboy Interview: Steve and Holly Baer", in "The Mother Earth News", issue # 22 - July/August 1973

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Baer — (or Bär, from de. bear) is the surname of:* Arthur Bugs Baer (1886 1969), American journalist and humorist * Buddy Baer (1915 1986), American boxer * Byron Baer (1929 2007), American politician * Clara Gregory Baer, inventor of Netball, Newcomb… …   Wikipedia

  • muro Steve Baer — m Serie de bidones de acero, pintados de negro y llenos de agua que se encuentran en la cara interior de un edificio, adosadas a una vidriera; йstas captan el calor del sol y lo transmiten al interior de la casa despuйs de la puesta de sol.… …   Diccionario de Construcción y Arquitectur

  • Max Baer (boxer) — This article is about the boxer and actor. For an article about his actor son, see Max Baer, Jr. Max Baer Statistics Real name Maximilian Adelbert Baer Nickname(s) …   Wikipedia

  • Ralph Baer — Ralph H. Baer (* 8. März 1922 in Rodalben) ist ein deutsch US amerikanischer Spieleentwickler. Er entwickelte 1969 in Eigenregie die erste für den Heimbedarf gedachte Spielkonsole: die Odyssey. Ralph Baer erhält von US Präsident Bush die National …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Byron Baer — Byron M. Baer (October 18, 1929 ndash; June 24, 2007) was an American Democratic Party politician from New Jersey who served in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature. He served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1972 1993 and in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Zome — The term zome is used in several related senses. A zome in the originalsense is a building using unusual geometries [ dossiers/logement individuel/index.php?dossier=69 article=2896] (different from the standard… …   Wikipedia

  • Midland School, Los Olivos, California — Midland School Location Los Olivos, CA, USA Information Type Private, Boarding Motto In Robore Virtus Religious affiliation(s) …   Wikipedia

  • Buckminster Fuller — Infobox Person name = R. Buckminster Fuller image size = 200px caption = R. Buckminster Fuller c.1917 birth date = birth date|1895|07|12 birth place = Milton, Massachusetts death date = death date and age|1983|7|1|1895|07|12|mf=y death place =… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Amherst College people — This is a list of some notable people affiliated with Amherst College.Notable alumniCollege founders and presidents*Edward Jones 1826, Principal of forerunner of Fourah Bay College (the predecessor of the University of Sierra Leone) (Africa)… …   Wikipedia

  • List of avant-garde artists — Avant garde (pronounced IPA|/ɑvɑ̃ gɑʁd/) in French means front guard , advance guard , or vanguard .Cite web|url= garde|title=Avant garde definitions|accessdate=2007 03 14|publisher=Lexico Publishing… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”