The Atrium 2 is a compact home full of the Not-So-Big-House concepts.
Two sides are designed to face south which maximizes the number of rooms
that receive sun. The back corner is designed to face due south with the
front of the house facing northwest or northeast if reversed.
The center of the home is full of light with the atrium that also
aids in natural cooling. There is even a ladder designed to access
the upper shelf around part of the atrium. The center hearth for either
a wood stove or fireplace adds even more character to one of our most
unique homes. Like many of our plans, the main living functions are
on the main level. The master bedroom is close to the main living
area yet still has acoustical privacy. The deck on the south corner
of the home is nestled between the southeast and southwest wings and
will be sunny year-round. The corner could also be enclosed as a sunroom
or bedroom for additional solar gain or winter plants.
The stairs to the basement with its large front window make the foyer
feel larger and inviting. The extra bedrooms for children and guests
are tucked away in the daylight basement with its own living area
and walkout patio.
The detached garage can be either two car with a workshop space or
can be modified for a third car or tractor. It could even be attached
via the laundry room if the layout of the land allowed.
Most of the first floor ceilings are vaulted which makes the minimum
size rooms feel open and spacious. This home has less solar gain than
some of our passive solar plans, but its compact shapes keeps the heat
loss and heat gain down so that it has the same energy rating as our homes
with more solar gain. It requires little additional thermal mass to maintain
interior comfort. Unlike most of our other plans that have a section of
roof facing due south, the Atrium has two roof areas that face southeast
and southwest so any solar panels for hot water or photovoltaics would
best be placed on ground level facing due south.
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity,
they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
Fill in the south corner to become a sunroom, expanded living area,
or second bedroom with shared access to the master bath
Eliminate the screened porch and receive more solar gain.
Want to study this sun-inspired house design?
Read more about
the drawings available for various Sun Plans.
Ready to build this house plan?
For this plan, the following are included:
Schematic Site Plan
Daylight Basement Foundation Plan
(section cut that includes interior view)
Typical Wall Detail
Schematic Framing Plans
Optional Garage Plan
Custom Energy Specs that describe any recommended
adaptations for your climate – insulation values, glass type for the various
windows, overhang lengths.
The clients for this particular Atrium 2 had a professional designer
incorporate changes to the CAD file so the photos may have items that differ from the drawings.