This new 2500 square foot house is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on a south-facing view site. Per the client, the home was designed to maximize the alpine views from all rooms, and also to be a ‘solar home’. The building’s shape and room configurations attain this by its east-west axis resulting in a large south facing roof and all rooms hugging the south walls, which have the views.
The ‘active’ solar system that covers the south roof is a 600 square foot array of photovoltaic and thermal panels, which generate electricity, heat air, and heat the domestic hot water. The top floor of the house is the main ‘living level’, with all rooms gaining ‘passive’ solar heat from direct sunlight that is used to warm the rooms during the winter. The interior temperature is stabilized and maintained from the thermal mass of the concrete floors. During the summer, the house is kept cool thru the use of natural ventilation that enters the house low and exits up high.