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Passive Solar Home Design Conserves Energy, Exudes Style

Carol Richard of the Atlanta-based architecture firm Richard Wittschiebe Hand designed a passive solar home design in Madison, Wisconsin, which she calls her castle. Also known as Ross Street House, this modern sustainable architecture project was a collaborative effort with her mechanical engineer husband, Fred Berg, and was recognized as Wisconsin’s first LEED for Homes Platinum-rated residence in July 2009. Set in a neighborhood of post-war Cape-Cod-style homes peppered with some “modern” 1960s homes, this residence was actually designed to fit into its environment. Thus, the unobtrusive square shape (modeled on a box camera) and two-toned cedar siding and roof to make the house appear smaller than its 2,700 sq. ft. The wood-clad house is positioned to take in as much winter sun and summer shade as possible for passive cooling. The windows also naturally illuminate the open-concept living area, which is a bright and airy space of double-height proportions. Light and local maple and a white palette further create the illusion of more space. Three floors are connected by the open, industrial-style staircase. Additional eco-sustainable features include water conserving dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets, a tankless water heater and a rain-water recycling system. VOC-free paint and adhesives limit chemical off-gassing. Topping off this cool eco house, the garage is topped with photovoltaic panels that cover more than half of the home’s energy requirements each year. Richard Wittschiebe Hand
via Contemporist
photo credit: Zane Williams
passive solar home design 2 Passive Solar Home Design Conserves Energy, Exudes Style


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