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One of the most significant developments in passive solar design is SOLARBLOCK®, a concrete masonry unit of 100% Solite® or Kenlite® lightweight aggregate.

SOLARBLOCK® masonry units:

  • offer excellent thermal storage properties
  • are aesthetically pleasing
  • are fire resistant
  • are nailable
  • have excellent sound absorption

There are two basic design concepts - direct gain and indirect gain. SOLARBLOCK® masonry units were developed to perform well in either design.

Direct gain is simply a south facing structure which makes use of its SOLARBLOCK® interior and exterior walls as its thermal storage system. Direct gain systems should incorporate as much surface area of SOLARBLOCK® thermal storage as possible at thicknesses of 4 to 6 inches.

Indirect gain is also a south facing structure but makes use of thicker SOLARBLOCK® thermal storage or trombe walls between theo south facing glass and the living space for its thermal storage system. SOLARBLOCK®'s relatively low thermal conductivity (0.25) enables it to release its stored heat energy more slowly into the living space than most thermal storage materials. This longer lag time results in increased efficiency.

Obtaining Solar Energy by Passive Means


A properly-designed passive solar structure offers maximum performance in the cooling cycle as well as in the heating cycle. Unlike most thermal storage materials, SOLARBLOCK® allows the designer to use the same basic material for its heat storage and release properties as well as for its insulative value. SOLARBLOCK® cores can be filled with various materials to modify the thermal storage characteristics to the designer's specification.

SOLARBLOCK® masonry units are winning the approval of designers who demand more than thermal efficiency. It is easy to install, it can me nailed, and it is easily incorporated with other trade jobs. It also provides maximum fire resistance standards and excellent should absorption. SOLARBLOCK® masonry units are the logical choice for nearly any design.

Northeast Solite Corporation produces lightweight aggregates for sale as Solite®, Kenlite® and HydroCure® throughout the entire United States.
Kenlite® and HydroCure® are available for sale throughout Canada and worldwide.
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