The Atrium 2 is a compact sun-tempered home full of the Not-So-Big-House concepts. Two sides are designed to face south which maximizes the number of rooms that receive sun. The center of the home will be full of light too with the atrium that also aids in natural cooling. The home is designed to sit at an angle to the sun with the front of the house facing northwest or northeast if reversed. Most of the first floor ceilings are vaulted which makes the minimum size rooms feel open and spacious. There is even a ladder designed to access the upper shelf around part of the atrium. The stairs to the basement with its large front window make the foyer feel larger and inviting. The center hearth for either a wood stove or fireplace adds even more character to one of our most unique homes. Like many of our plans, the main living functions are on the main level. The master bedroom is close to the main living area yet still has acoustical privacy. The extra bedrooms for children and guests are tucked away in the daylight basement with its own living area and walkout patio. The deck on the south corner of the home is nestled between the southeast and southwest wings and will be sunny year-round. The corner could also be enclosed as a sunroom for additional solar gain or winter plants. This home has less solar gain than some of our passive solar plans, but it's compact shapes keeps the heat loss and heat gain down so that it has the same energy rating as our homes with more solar gain. It requires little additional thermal mass to maintain interior comfort. Unlike most of our other plans that have a section of roof facing due south, the Atrium has two roof areas that face southeast and southwest so any solar panels for hot water or photovoltaics would best be placed on ground level facing due south. The detached garage can be either two car with a workshop space or can be modified for a third car or tractor. It could even be attached via the main level laundry room if the layout of the land allowed. This plan comes with custom energy recommendations to adapt the home to your location.
Passive solar functions best in a home that is energy efficient with a well-designed mechanical system. It is part of the energy-efficient whole and should not be considered a stand-alone solution to saving energy. These custom energy recommendations, which come with blueprint orders, assist you in creating an energy-efficient shell and giving recommendations on how best to obtain a properly designed mechanical system to supplement your passive solar energy.