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Solar Santa Fe 3

Note: See Solar Santa Fe for perspective view.

Specifications: 956 sq. ft. interior, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, Footprint: 29′ x 45′ plus patio

Description: This is a three bedroom version of the Solar Santa Fe design. Both are designed to optimize passive solar. A tiled roof along the south side is sized to prevent overheating in summer, but allow maximum solar gain in winter. Quality detailing is evident throughout — open, comfortable layout, rough-hewn posts and vigas (round roof timbers), built-in bench and kiva-style fireplace (or wood stove insert). On the cooler east side is a large outdoor flagstone patio (not shown).

Solar Santa Fe 3 (click to enlarge)

Solar Santa Fe 3 (click to enlarge)

Solar Santa Fe

Solar Santa Fe (click to enlarge)

Solar Santa Fe (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 488 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 16′ x 45′ plus patio

Description: In addition to the charm of typical Santa Fe homes, this house is designed to optimize passive solar. A tiled roof along the south side is sized to prevent overheating in summer, but allow maximum solar gain in winter. Quality detailing is evident throughout — open, comfortable layout, rough-hewn posts and vigas (round roof timbers), built-in bench and kiva-style fireplace (or wood stove insert). On the cooler east side is a large outdoor flagstone patio (not shown).

Solar Santa Fe (click to enlarge)

Solar Santa Fe (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge

Earthbag Lodge (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 800 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 40′ x 40′

Description: Based on ancient Native American designs, this earth lodge with living roof will keep you cozy and warm even in the harshest climates, because it is compact, earth-sheltered, insulated and uses wood heat. South-facing windows and skylight over the kitchen ensure ample daylighting. It can be built for about $2,000 assuming wood poles are gathered locally.

Building basics: This hexagonal structure consists of earthbag walls, about head high, and a wood framed wall on the south. Six large center poles with timber beams support sloping roof poles and living roof. To reduce risk of moisture problems, it’s best to build above grade and add earth on top of the structure rather than digging below grade.

Earthbag Lodge (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge (click to enlarge)

Natural House

Natural House (click to enlarge)

Natural House (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 287 sq. ft. interior plus 287 sq. ft. loft, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 16′ x 30′

Description: Here’s a dirt-cheap energy-efficient design that’s simple to build. This is a good starter project. Features include a loft for sleeping and office space, and south-facing windows for excellent solar gain and daylighting. Earth berming and simple curves helps the Natural House blend into its environment.

Natural House (click to enlarge)

Natural House (click to enlarge)

Crow

Crow (click to enlarge)

Crow (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 728 sq. ft. interior plus 366 sq. ft. loft, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 29′ x 31′ plus porch

Description: One of my favorites, this design has a cathedral ceiling over the main living space, wood stove, passive solar design and large porch on the west to block the hot afternoon sun. There is a large loft over the bedrooms and bath.

Crow (click to enlarge)

Crow (click to enlarge)

Craftsman

Craftsman (click to enlarge)

Craftsman (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 814 sq. ft. interior, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 25′ x 42′

Description: This plan has all the amenities of a larger home, in a compact space with Craftsman detailing. Stylish yet simple and practical.

Craftsman (click to enlarge)

Craftsman (click to enlarge)

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 740 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 31′ x 40′ plus buttresses and covered porch

Description: Spiral 2 is a variation of my first spiral house — Spiral Earthbag House. This unique, almost Hobbit-like earth-sheltered spiral design includes a large grow bed, exposed timber ceiling and living roof. Ample light is provided by the window wall next to the grow bed, window and door glazing, and suntubes. Distinguishing features include two bedrooms, masonry two-way fireplace, covered porch and cool pantry for storage of food (no electricity required for refrigeration). An alternate roof plan is available for building with TJIs where wood poles are not available. There’s even a door planned in for future expansion. This home meets zero energy standards, and is now one of my favorite.

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

Office

Office (click to enlarge)

Office (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 199 sq. ft. interior, Footprint: 13′ x 23′

Description: Here’s a perfect design for your backyard office or studio. Building codes vary from region to region, but this design may not need a building permit because it falls below the minimum floor space requirement of 200 sq. ft.

Office (click to enlarge)

Office (click to enlarge)

Beach House

Beach House (click to enlarge)

Beach House (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 525 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom (plus fold-out bed), 1 bath, Footprint: 24′ x 27′ plus porches

Description: Features include a deck and large window wall that faces the waterfront, and screened porch in the rear. Designed to weather hurricanes and other extremes of ocean-front property — a perfect application for earthbags, which far surpass most other building materials in terms of hurricane resistance. This design also includes an optional cistern under the house for storage of roofwater.

Beach House (click to enlarge)

Beach House (click to enlarge)

L-Shape

L-Shape (click to enlarge)

L-Shape (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 552 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 32′ x 32′

Description: The main characteristics of this house include efficient use of space, while offering basic necessities and a few extras like a wood stove, good-sized computer desk and excellent passive solar design.

L-Shape (click to enlarge)

L-Shape (click to enlarge)