The Design of the Home
Introduction to the Design of the Home
Solar design strategies bring natural light into all living spaces from at least two sides. Specific passive solar design allows winter heat gain but protects the house from unwanted summer heat gain. Besides being very efficient in its use of energy and harvesting the sun's energy directly through the windows, the Eco Home is equipped with three active renewable energy systems. A solar electric system turns sunlight directly into electricity which helps meet the home's electrical load. A solar hot water system heats water for showers, sinks and other uses. A wood stove in the living room allows for the use of our region's only source of stored renewable energy in the form of firewood as a fuel. Together these systems help reduce the need for imported fossil fuel energy and its environmental impacts.
Sensitive site orientation results in a home with both views and privacy. One bedroom and a full bath on the main level allow efficient one-level living. Two additional bedrooms and a study upstairs create an overall layout comfortable for a family. The breezeway entrance connects a combined mudroom and laundry to the kitchen. The dining area is open to the kitchen, but separated with post and beam details. The front entry doubles as a small, sunny sitting area. The southwest living room is visually tied to the entry and dining areas, providing a warm open space with opportunity for a quiet retreat.