Sun Dance 3: Terri & Anthony
Crazy for real stone. Cozy window seat. 3BR. 1.5 story. 1967 sf
Sun Plans made it possible for Terri and Anthony to heat and cool their home by simply opening and closing the windows during much of the year. And in periods of extreme hot and cold, their energy usage is still quite low.
Thanks Terri and Anthony for sharing the photos of your home! We enjoyed adapting the home for you to take advantage of Anthony's stone mason skills. The stone walls not only add a warm comfy feel inside and out, but add thermal mass to help store the passive solar heat. The recommended amount of thermal mass for the south glass to keep the home from overheating on sunny winter days could be met in the walls alone. This allowed Terri and Anthony to have hardwood floors throughout.
The partial daylight basement is heated and rigid insulation sandwiched between the stone and concrete basement walls. There is rigid insulation beneath the concrete slab that receives sun. The upper level exterior stud walls are framed with 2x6’s and filled with carefully fitted insulation. They were then wrapped with rigid insulation. The open attic has full thickness insulation all the way past to the edge of the wall and a radiant barrier on the bottom of the trusses since their summers can get very hot.
The auxiliary mechanical system is a geothermal heat pump designed and installed by Lewis Geothermal. They have two gas fireplaces that are used for atmosphere, and a wood stove in the basement that has yet to be used. The thermostat is kept on 68 degrees F in winter and 76 degrees in summer. The mechanical system is not used from late February through May, and October through November. The windows are open March through May and in October. Ceiling fans are used intermittently year-round. During times when they open windows to passively cool the house, the temperature drops below 72 degrees F at night. They then close up the house in the morning and the temperature stays in the 70’s throughout the day. The entire house is powered by electricity except for the gas stove.
Regarding what they would do differently, they said they wished they would have made the back entry area and laundry room larger. Every household member has his own clutter that needs to be deposited coming and going from the house and the amount generated by their family of four has exceed the amount of space.
Terri and Anthony are pleased with the cost to operate as well as the comfort level of the house throughout the year. The only problem with brightness is during the winter while watching TV during daytime hours. But we just have to pull the interior shades.”
Terri added: “What a wonderful house you designed for us! We absolutely love it. It is sunny and welcoming and a joy to come home to each day. There is no wasted space in this design and pretty much everything (furniture, etc.) has worked well in the space planned for it. Each room is well lived in and used, but the openness of the plan makes it feel spacious, too.”