Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,620 sf
Daylight Basement
1,620 sf
Unfinished Basement
165 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Sunshine 5
The Sunshine 5 is super sunny and comfortable with the extra high concrete mass in both the walls and floors which keep inside temperatures steady year-round. A cozy corner sun room remains warm long into the winter evening with the west-facing glass. In summer, the west windows can stay open to prevent overheating and serve as a screened porch while the large north front porch receives maximum breezes with 3 sides open. Craftsman touches in the front truss, window details and large stone-based columns adorn this simple, yet very low-energy home.
First Floor
Glass doors on the both ends of the entry provide a view all the way through the home. The central daylight cooling chimney brings light into the center of the home and lets hot air out when the house is passively cooled. The nearby study can be closed off with its French doors or remain open to the great room. The large family foyer is multifunctional with nooks for boots, coats, keys, backpacks and even an optional location for washer and dryer if the laundry chute to the basement below is not desired. A large private master suite spans the entire private side of the home while a large west deck spans the public side of the home.
Daylight Basement
The stairs from above lead to the central entertainment room located between two bedrooms with two possible baths. Tucked into the north, earth-bermed side are spaces for storage, laundry and mechanical rooms. The end space can be used for exterior storage and house items such as solar equipment. French doors to the sunny, south patio open up the lower living spaces to the outdoors.
The one-vehicle garage also has a large studio area or workshop on one side that could easily become a two-vehicle garage. With south-facing windows, the building can be used as a greenhouse for plants in winter. A connecting covered walkway can be added to provide protection to and from the home.
Construction Info
The exterior walls of both floors are designed as insulated concrete forms (ICF) for strength, insulation and thermal mass. The first floor is designed with a clear span ICF floor system with 4" of concrete. The extra high amount of thermal mass can support a high percentage of south glass and solar gain. The basement has 8' high ceilings. The great room, kitchen, and dining area have vaulted ceilings with scissor trusses while the other rooms have 9' high ceilings.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Shrink the house 4' in length if a large master bedroom and bath are not required and to save on construction costs
  • Move the entry to the west sunroom (east if reversed) and turn the foyer into a closet so the study can be a bedroom.
  • Move the master bedroom closet doors to the south side so that the large bath can be shared by the opt. bedroom 2
  • Construct the thick first floor walls and floors with wood construction for cost-savings and reduce south glass accordingly
  • Change the roof trusses to gable and vault the entire first floor
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Plan
  • Floor Plans
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Garage/Workshop Plans
Comments and Photos
After they move in and get the home decorated and landscaped, clients often send photos as well as comments about their house. Check back later, but also be sure to check out photos of other Sunshine homes.  Many Sun Plans designs have a similar feel inside the home.