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Moorhaus Cottage 4: Kathy & Jim

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Kathy and Debbie (architect) hugged on their first face to face meeting - they felt like old friends.  Kathy commented on how much fun it had been working together over the phone and internet. 
She had always dreamed of having a sun-inspired home and had been following Sun Plans for years.  She was impressed that an architect who was good enough to have been published in Fine Homebuilding would be designing her home.  With 30 years of experience designing homes and most of those being passive solar, she felt very comfortable trusting her dream home design to Debbie.
Kathy was surprised to find out that Sun Plans has a very small staff, but was delighted since that means that the architect does the main design work on every home! It was a very good value to get architectural services far below the typical 10% that architects charge. The fees were only about 2% of construction costs. 
Their Moorhaus Cottage 4's final blower door test at ACH 50 score was 1.41.  The maximum target specifieds was 1.5 since they were not quite ambitious to go for the extreme Passivhaus level of air tightness.  Their whole house energy bills averaged about $100/month for the first year which is very good for their moderate, climate zone 4 (of the International Residential Code 2012). The exterior walls are 2x6 studs and there is some exterior insulation, but not so much that it made the exterior siding difficult to install.
Jim is proud of the reclaimed hickory used for the floors. The use of wood floors throughout the house was one of their priorities so  a brick thermal mass walls were used for storing the extra sun that enters in winter. Kathy's favorite sun-inspired space is the east sun room since it is so sunny and you feel like you are outside! Although it is completely glassed on three sides and may be a bit cold on cloudy winter days, it stays cool in summer when the sliding glass doors are open.