Sun-inspired architectural design focuses on incorporating the free heat and natural light of the sun. Sun Plansí interactive design process involves the clients extensively from the beginning. The most important elements of a home are already nestled in the hearts and minds of the expectant home owner. Itís the job of an architect to turn those ideas into real spaces! Both home owner and architect have a lot of fun as they see a unique home design take shape!
Create-A-SunPlan is the origination point of every high-performance, sun-inspired house plan found on the Sun Plans web site. For 25 years, home owners have been putting their trust in architect Debra Rucker Coleman for the creation of personally tailored, bright and sunny, low-energy, passive solar homes. Homes are right-sized for the family and the operating expenses (energy bills) are inherently low. Since 2002, Debra has extended the custom design services through internet-based architectural services for those living in the United States and Canada.
Create-A-SunPlan is for discriminating home owners who:
- Plan to start construction in about 3 months to 2 years*
- Enjoy being a part of a proactive design process
- Communicate confidently their desires for a home
- Speak openly with their spouses, partners and other family members regarding priorities
- State realistic goals with their budget and schedule
- Place a high value on energy-savings and minimizing square footage
- Remain flexible and open minded
- Rise to the challenge of assisting with research
- Trust professionals to assist them in many aspects of their life
- Value quality over quantity of space
Custom homes can be simple and economical, complex and expensive or anywhere in between. Sun Plans starts from scratch using photos, ideas and comments assembled and organized by the home owners. Creating a custom home design usually results in the lowest construction cost as there is no "fat" in the home. The home will be right-sized and contain only the spaces and features that are requested. There is no need to settle for (and pay for) extra spaces and features that were important to the client of another house design.
Sun Plans services can lower construction and operating costs
Create-A-SunPlan fees are far below those of a realtor when compared to purchasing a home of the same size. The bright and sunny interior, along with low energy bills, are icing on the cake! It's affordable!
The goal of the sun-inspired design services is to help home owners save money in both construction costs and operating costs. Typically, the total cost savings would by far exceeds the Sun Plans' architectural design fee in several ways
- A right-sized home can easily save 200 s.f. ($20,000+ in construction costs).
- A right-shaped sun-inspired home can save 30% on both the heating and cooling bill (thousands of dollars over the life of a home).
- A well-insulated home with a right-sized HVAC system and built to Energy Star standards can easily save another 30% on energy bills (more savings).
- Often the heating and cooling loads are so low that thousands can be saved on installing smaller and simpler heating and cooling systems alone.
- A home built to Passive House standards can save another 30%.
- A net zero home can result in no or below zero energy use!
When clients come to us with a team - builder, home energy rater, HVAC and insulation subcontractors with experience in low-energy homes, the chances of the plans being constructed to low-energy standards greatly increases. Local professionals can assist the client along with Sun Plans during the planning and design process by providing assistance with estimating based on the local availability of various products and insulation. Sun Plans fees can be reduced with integrated design.
* The process typically takes 2-8 months from when Sun Plans begins, but the times can be shorter or longer as desired. Often clients prefer to spread out the process to the longer time period although it is the most efficient (lower fees) when we do not have to stop and start too much and can move through the process more quickly. Check with us for current lead times.
In Chapter 5 - Custom Design Process: Architects and Options of The Sun-Inspired House, architect Debra Rucker Coleman further discusses the sun-inspired design process. See more about the entire book.