Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,187 sf
Floor 2
852 sf
2,039 sf
Daylight Basement
1,085 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Midnight Sun 3
The Midnight Sun 3 packs a big punch for such a compact footprint. With three floors with south-facing windows, it has a higher than average solar gain in winter yet stays cool in summer. The sun room from the original Midnight Sun has been incorporated into the main living area for a super-bright and spacious living room. The enlarged family entry connects to an attached garage with a nearby laundry room. The variety of exterior materials, quaint front and back porches and deck make for a comfy home with tremendous passive cooling potential with the three floors.
Mac and Jo were a part of the virtual 2020 National Solar Tour.  Read more to see the video that they created about their home.
First Floor
From the front airlock foyer, there is a peek into the living room and expansive south windows beyond. Turning right leads to the laundry and garage while the decorative glass door leads straight to the central area that features a raised hearth wood stove with seating on both the dining and living room sides. The southeast kitchen receives early morning light and sun throughout the day as do the dining and living areas. The first-floor bedroom serves as an office or bedroom for those unable to navigate stairs. The nearby bath and shelf-lined stairwell with their play of small windows, angled walls and box windows add character to the front, north side of the house.
Second Floor
The central staircase winding up to the second floor with three sunny bedrooms, two creative baths, and an abundance of closets and storage tucked into the eaves. The ceilings are high in the middle which adds visual interest and opportunities for passive cooling. The west bedroom has an extra space on the end for creative play, dressing nook or nursery. The master bathroom features a large shower while the other bathroom has a large soaking tub yet can be a large shower too.
Daylight Basement
The same creative staircase opens into the large sunny daylight basement with a bright southeast bedroom and plenty of storage on the north for mechanicals, a bath, optional extra laundry and possible storm shelter. Glass doors lead out to a large patio.
Attached Garage
The three-vehicle garage to the northwest blocks predominant winter winds and shares the airlock front entry. The south end features windows which is a perfect place for wintering plants. The nearby laundry area also functions as a mudroom.
Construction Info
Nine-foot ceilings on the first floor and basement make the rooms feel more spacious. The upper floor has a variety of exterior wall heights which vault up to 10 feet ceilings in the middle with a stick-framed rafter roof. The insulated foundation keeps the basement warm. The 6 inch stud walls above can be filled with a variety of cavity and exterior insulation to adapt to various climates. The thermal mass is primarily in the basement slab floor and tile floors on the main level. With the central staircase connecting all three floors, the home can share the abundance of thermal mass in the basement.
Modification Ideas
Since these may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Streamline the exterior design by changing the roof lines to single slope angles and the siding to larger panels
  • Turn the daylight basement into a large master bedroom suite.
  • Add a kitchenette to the basement for an AirBnB rental
  • Remove the basement and add a slab foundation
  • Expand the first floor for a master bath and walk-in closet
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included with orders for Construction Prints and CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Foundation Plan
  • Floor Plans with Attached Garage
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Custom Energy Recommendations (describes how to adapt the home to various locations with recommended insulation values, windows, thermal mass, overhang lengths, and sometimes framing to accommodate necessary insulation)
Comments and Photos
Thanks Jo and Mac for sharing the video for the 2020 National Solar Tour and providing photos after they moved in including some cool drone aerial views.