Solar heating continues high in the consciousness of many area residents. Two of them, Emil and Judy Rigg are completing a 3,500-square-foot contemporary house for themselves and their two children on part of a 16-acre site in the Seneca area of Montgomery County. Judy Rigg said that the nearly completed house on Poplar Hill Road will have a forced air solar heating system produced by Solaron Corp. of Denver and installed by builder Tony Sanders. Mrs. Rigg explained that there's 7 inches of air space under the solar collector on the roof of the house and that enormous ducts take the heated air to a rock pile in the basement. "At that point an air handling system takes the heat from the rock pile and cirulates it through the house, using a heat pump as a backup." The three-story house, designed by Robert Page, has zoned living areas - children on the lower level, living area (no formal living room) and kitchen on the middle area and master bedroom above. The roof has a 50 degree pitch to capture the sun's rays. The Riggs plan to retain five acres of their tract for their own house and sell off another high area as a homestic.
And the solar swing has caught architect Jack C. Cohen and his Silver Spring firm in its swirl. "We have designed three major projects which utilize solar energy in one way or another," said Cohen. "What makes these projects most significant in their application of solar energy is that they were all done based on normal economic subsidy or assistance. The largest installation is a solar-assisted heating and domestic hot water system that we have under construction as part of the new Germantown campus of Montgomery Community College. We were able to include the solar components within the basic construction budget. But if we break out the cost for the solar system, the cost of $295,000 would save $554,000 in 10 years, according to mechanical consultant Sidney Silver," Cohen and his associates also have designed a solar domestic hot water heating system for Maurice Lipnick's 300-unit Claridge House apartments for the elderly in Arlington and another for Leafy House (subsidy housing) in Montgomery County. "I think the federal government could encourage a phenomenal growth in residential application of solar energy, particularly for domestic hot water, if it made loans available for installation to be paid back out of fuel savings," Cohen concluded.
Gaye Beasley, vice president of the Reilly Mortgage Group here, was quoted recently in a women-in-mortgage-banking edition of a trade association monthly: "In some ways it is difficult to be a woman in mortgage banking but there are also lots of advantages. Women are generally hired at lower levels than comparably qualified men and advanced much more slowly. However, they are, like it or not, somewhat protected in their jobs by the men around them, who are more likely to feel supportive rather than competitive toward female associates. Also, being a female mortgage banker makes one unique and people will remember her name just because she is different. With thousands of young men in three-piece suits trying to become known in the industry, this is real advantage."