The primary aesthetic of this home is the solar component. The passive solar design, hydronic solar panels and trombe walls create an architecture that reveals the solar properties of the design at first glance.
The majority of glass is south facing to take advantage of solar gain with some smaller windows on the West and North for light and cross ventilation. The roof overhangs have been sized to admit the winter sun and take advantage of the free warming and to block the summer sun to prevent overheating.
The openness of the plan makes this small home feel much more spacious than its 1905 square feet would suggest and while there are large expanses of glass facing the street the home still feels private. The floor plan is elongated along the East-West axis to provide for more southern exposure and a shallower depth to allow the sun to penetrate to the back of the home. The home was designed with a summer entry directly into the Atrium space and a winter entry that serves as a coat room and airlock that prevents cold winter air from directly entering the heated spaces.
Insulated concrete form (ICF) construction provided a well-insulated, tightly sealed building envelope with the all important thermal mass to store the suns energy and maintain a comfortable thermal environment day and night. Radiant heat embedded in the floors will provide a comfortable thermal environment that complements the passive solar system. Domestic hot water is provided by solar hydronic panels integrated into the storage area located over the garage. An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) provides fresh air for ventilation while capturing 94% of the heat that would otherwise be expelled.