Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
2,332 sf
Daylight Basement
1,307 sf
Unfinished Basement
990 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Equinox 3

The Equinox 3 is a similar plan to the original Equinox. The shingle siding, stone, and Craftsman-style knee braces make the home warm and inviting. The breakfast area and den are designed to feel like a sunroom. The front is designed to face south and there are ample porches and decks on the other three sides for those who like outdoor living. It is a difficult challenge to design a south-facing passive solar home since large front porches cannot be had on the south side, but the Equinox 3 is inviting without sacrificing the solar gain.

"We are thrilled with the design and plans, and we love the house. It is very bright, and the passive solar design works beautifully."

First Floor

The front south-facing living areas all have vaulted ceilings and will receive full winter sun, while the bedrooms are on the cool north side of the home. The master suite has its own private deck and an optional door to the laundry room. The east den area is an extension of the master bedroom while the larger great room is close to bedrooms 2 and 3 where the kids or in-laws have their own bath. The den and breakfast area are open and this entire area will feel like a sunroom in the morning. The stairwell on the south allows light down into the middle of the daylight basement.

Daylight Basement 

The basement has a large entertainment room that receives light from the stairwell through the French doors. Guests and those with a home office will enjoy this private daylight basement. Garage Option The basement garage is designed for three vehicles plus storage. If you prefer a first floor garage, take a look at our Equinox Homestead plan for ideas.

Construction Info

The Equinox 3 is designed to be constructed with a trussed roof, 6" walls (structural insulated panels could be used for the walls), and an ICF (insulated concrete form) foundation. The first floor has 9' ceilings with the south first floor rooms vaulted. The thermal mass walls in the living and breakfast areas can be covered in stone or tile, stuccoed, or constructed with brick.

Modification Ideas

Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.

  • Move the laundry to the center of the home to give the master bedroom or bath eastern windows for morning sun
  • Esp. if you switch the bath and laundry, close off the den to become a fourth bedroom or more private away room
  • Build the house on a slab for extra thermal mass and increase south glass such as with a clerestory
Construction Drawings

For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:

  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Plan
  • First Floor Plan
  • Exterior Elevations Building
  • Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail 
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
Comments and Photos

Thanks to Dale and Leslie for the photo of their home with the solar panels which won the Lakewood Sustainability Award and which attractively incorporates active solar panels. Dale estimates that the passive solar gain equals approximately 5,000kWh per year. They told Sun Plans,

"We are thrilled with the design and plans, and we love the house. It is very bright, and the passive solar design works beautifully."

Be sure to check out photos of other Equinox homes. Many Sun Plans designs have a similar feel inside the home.