Experimentation, trial, error, and the Lisa sounding-board. These are
the ways I established some basic plan concepts.
I started playing with some design concepts. First I wanted to get an idea
of how I would arrange the rooms. I wanted to establish good
people-flow. Things like attaching the laundry room to the main walk-in
closet seemed like a good way to cut down on foot traffic.
Once I had some feel for the rooms, I started trying different house shapes
that fit with the passive solar goal. Here is a small part of that process
in pictorial form.
|PLAN 1: The basic rectangle.
|| My first plan started out about
pretty normal. Basic rectangles, nothing fancy. I did get my
master bedroom, bathroom, walk-in closet and laundry room setup just how I
wanted, although I wasn't totally convinced with the kitchen.
||The open space kitchen/living
room is evident in this image. The notion that the kitchen needs to
be separate from the living area to eliminate unpleasant odors, and
unsightly views, just means that the cook is held hostage there, and can't
enjoy their favorite TV shows. Not in my house. Also
note the verandah (patio) across the front of the house. This
provides maximum winter solar heating, and summer shade.
||I also managed to create a
"High Area" above the kitchen which really only serves as a well
lit (skylights) reading and relaxation area. The spiral staircase
saves space over traditional stairs, but could have been improved even
more with a Captains Ladder. A "Quite Space" is attached
to one end of the loft area to provide total isolation, and another sunny
|PLAN 2: More Interesting
angles, and a roof deck.
||The next major revision to the
plan was to skew the rectangle, and add a garage. The overall area
of this design is actually a bit less than Plan 1, and the "narrow
Back" design should require less excavation. The two front
angles enable curved window seats to be built in the Bedroom and
office. These provide a more open mountain vista. I also did a slightly
bigger version with
better lines in the kitchen /dining area.
|| The upper
"Loft" area has been removed, and replaced with a roof deck.
A roof cutout provides a very
secluded, yet very open area for sunning and soaking. An entrance
nook on either side can be used for changing and storing BBQ and Hot Tub
materials. Access to this area will be quite restricted, probably
via a pair of "Captain's Ladders". Keep in mind that the
sides and rear of the house will be mostly below grade, hence the lack of
||More detail on the roof
cutout. A slightly sloping base with drainage to the rear of the
house provides very clean lines from the front. A 3 foot lip at the
front and back provides a totally private sunning area with great solar
Hmmm. I may have to install a removable davit crane to get bulky
items up to this area.
||The kitchen was also refined in
this design. A very clean U shaped counter area provides lots of
surface area, and a wide pantry on the opposing wall provides plenty of
storage. For most of the time, a ledge attached to the front of the
counter acts as a breakfast area, but for entertaining, the two leaves
swing out, and form a more traditional table for face to face dining.
|PLAN 3: Time to get some real designers involved.
The next step was to approach some real designers. |
This floor plan is the third in the series produced by people who actually know what they are doing :)
Click the image to jump to a full description page.
The final proposed Preliminary
Design looked a lot like this, but it had several new features.
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An exercise in Energy Smart, Not So Big living.
www.OurCoolHouse.com - Ideas@OurCoolHouse.com
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geothermal exchange energy management, and right sizing of the house for it's designated use.
The home's placement is on a south-facing hillside in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.
This site describes the design process, the technologies used and the expected results.
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