Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,436 sf
Floor 2
225 sf
1,661 sf
Daylight Basement
1,436 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Wild Horse
Designed to take advantage of views to the south and west, the Wild Horse has numerous outdoor living areas to enjoy nature from outside as much as inside. The large southeastern porch is perfect for mornings year-round and hot summer afternoons. It makes home appear much larger since it extends in front of the garage. The west porches on both floors provide protected seating for sunset drinks and dinners. The central tower provides an even greater southern view while also making it easy to access the walk-in attic. Peeks down into the vaulted ceilings of both the kitchen and living areas from the tower loft add visual interest to the bright sunny side of the home.
"We've been in Wild Horse for almost 5 months and we're regularly commenting on the great design and the amazing heating gains from passive solar." 
First Floor
Daytime rooms with vaulted ceilings and a stone hearth wall are on the south while nighttime rooms are on the north. The central staircase connects the main floor with both the fun tower loft and the spacious daylight basement creating an awesome cooling chimney. Passive air flow for summer in cold climates and shoulder seasons in mild climates adds to the home's comfort.
The front door and air lock foyer are creatively and conveniently tucked into the southeast corner near the garage so that the family and guests can share the coat closet. The north passage along the kitchen has a flex space that can be used for purses, backpacks and phones or as coffee or drink bar close to the kitchen.
The master bedroom has corner windows for an expansive view to the northwest and high windows on the west wall to help with passive cooling. The large walk-in closet can eliminate the need for dressers in the bedroom. The master bathroom features a walk-in shower, two sinks and still room for window to the north.
Bedroom 2 is centrally located making it perfect for a study or home school room that makes it easy to multi-task in the kitchen and laundry. Bath 2 is flexibly used for day or overnight guests.
Daylight Basement
With a large south-facing den and two more bedrooms, the house expands to accommodate a growing or multi-generational family. The walkout covered west patio and sunny south patio add outdoor living spaces. The large mechanical/storage space on the north can be divided for more living area or it could also house a root cellar or storm shelter
Attached Garage
The attached garage on the east keeps the overhead doors off the front. This allows for a south front porch which is typically hard to do on a passive solar home since normally it would block desired solar gain into the home. The two-car garage also has a smaller shop door. A door to the house foyer can be easily added.
Construction Info
The hip roof is wind-friendly and better protects the walls from rainfall. For simpler construction, both floors have eight-foot high bearing walls. On the first floor, the kitchen and living ceilings are slightly vaulted. The full stairs leading up to the loft also access the attic area. Stud-framed walls and a truss-framed floor and roof keep the house economical to build. Both are easily adapted for thicker insulation. Thermal mass is located on a few interior feature walls of stone veneer and the extra mass of the lower level also helps moderate temperature swings on extra hot days.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Move the kitchen sink to the corner under new windows
  • Reverse the placement of the kitchen and living room
  • For a narrower home, move the garage to the back/north and consider a side/east wrap around porch
  • Build on a concrete slab for flat lots
  • Reverse / flip the plan on the north/south axis to put the screened porch and master bedroom on the east
  • Increase ceiling heights and modify stair risers as necessary
  • Modify the tower for a central clerestory instead
Construction Drawings, etc.
For this plan, the following are included with orders for Construction Prints and CAD files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Plan
  • First Floor Plan with attached garage
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Custom Energy Specs
Comments and Photos
Glen and Krista sent some very cool wide angle shots before they moved in.  The stained concrete floors in the lower level, the views from the tower and the master bath with the north views are some particularly well done areas. The expanse of windows on the south and west sides of the main living area really grab the eye from the front entry area on the north side of the kitchen.
"We've been in Wild Horse for almost 5 months and we're regularly commenting on the great design and the amazing heating gains from passive solar. Checked the propane tank level a few days ago and we've used a grand total of 60 gallons since it was installed about a month before we moved in - and that's with daily cooking and heating hot water. Ecobee sends monthly efficiency reports, but they haven't been able to calculate a single month yet because the heating system does not run enough to give them a valid number. Amazing!"