Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,223 sf
Daylight Basement
1,296 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Atrium 2
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.
First Floor
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.
Daylight Basement
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.
Garage Option
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.
Construction Info
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.
Modification Ideas
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.
Construction Drawings
 For this plan, the following drawings are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Foundation Plan
  • Floor Plans
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section (section cut that includes interior view)
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Garage Plans
Comments and Photos
Thanks Shirley and Bill for sharing photos!  They had a professional designer incorporate changes to the CAD file so the photos may have items that differ from the drawings, but most home owners make changes during construction anyway. Be sure to look at some of the other atrium designs for interior images.