Summit Creek New Home
Site Characteristics of Focus During
Construction: Site offered two building envelopes with a 10’ public
utility easement east-west between them.
Summit Creek, which feeds Donner Lake on the west shore, lies at the north
of the site, and a small creek is to the west. The solar window on Dec. 21 is from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. All other days the sunshine is
available longer. The views are
360 degrees with Donner Peak to the southwest. The two building envelopes are of irregular shape. The creek
bank needed erosion protection and we designed and installed rip rap with
granite boulders from the area after an extensive agency approval process. The second year was spent grading the
site and preparing the pads. We
raised the area under the structures to achieve a gentle downslope for the
driveway and front yard. These drain toward the street and create a higher
elevation in case of a 500 year flood.
The site had some weak soils, as well as old stumps and organic debris
which was encountered during foundation excavation. To mitigate this we over excavated to 9’ and firm ground,
then pumped in 5’ of slurry mix to provide a base for our footings. We built a rock wall to terrace the
grounds to the north of the house adjacent to the creek. We designed the garage on one of the
building envelopes and the house on the other. The breezeway/greenhouse will tie the two buildings
together. The round floor plan was
the result of many iterations and design alternates. It was chosen for many reasons, including efficiency and strength. The wall system we utilized is Durisol,
which are blocks made of recycled wood, cement and rock wool insulation. The hollow cells in the blocks are
fitted with rebar and poured with concrete. The roof was designed to manage the snow and protect the
major entries and glazed areas, while being efficient to build. The orientation provides a surface to
mount a photovoltaic system and hot water heating panels. The exterior finish is lime stucco
plaster. The entire assembly and
landscape design is planned to create a fire safe environment.
Construction Type: Stay-in-place masonry wall
forms grouted with concrete, covered with lime stucco plaster; wood timber roof system. Roofing is
standing seam metal on the garage and artificial slate on the house. Passive solar system. Direct gain southern glazing with high
thermal mass efficient insulated low infiltration wall and slab floor systems. Interior
granite boulders and stone work; slab, steel and concrete lined walls provide
thermal storage. Curtains and low
heat glass on east, west and north elevation retain heat at night. Orientation, roof overhangs, and trellis
vines provide shade in summer and fall for extensive southern glass areas. Stone piers are thermally broken between
windows in the bay shaped sun space.
Active Solar System: 2.5 kw PV system
for electrical power and solar hot water panels for domestic hot water heating.
Main Heating System: Solar with BPA
phase 2 certified wood stove backup.
Auxiliary Heating System: Hydronic
radiant floor heating with +/- 90% efficient natural gas boiler.
Conservation Features: Recycled wood wall
system with fly ash concrete grout, lime stucco plaster interior and exterior,
sustainably grown exposed wood beams, engineered wood in concealed areas,
recycled old growth redwood plates, fascia, window jambs, etc. Recycled fir paneling, water based
sealers and finishes, use of local granite materials, roof shingles made from
recycled automobile window gaskets, clad wood windows from sustainably grown
and certified forests, use of durable fire resistive construction systems for
low cost of ownership and maintenance.
Natural daylighting, natural ventilation and healthy materials and
Performance Data: Off the charts!
Subjective Evaluation/Design Consideration:
Chalet inspired design on south facade to keep snow managed safely and from
piling up in front. Integration of
building with site features, views and sunshine. The design seeks to capture, utilize and celebrate its solar
and view resources. It offers
space to grow plants and flowers and provide fountains in the two story winter
garden and greenhouse breezeway. The design integrates the various levels vertically for day lighting,
heating, cooling and ventilation distribution through natural means. The aesthetic will be Alpine, incorporating
elements of indigenous old Tahoe architecture and Swiss mountain design. This home will be a high performance
solar and environmentally responsive home for our family of four and extended family
Size: 3,000 sq. foot house plus garage, studio and greenhouse/breezeway
Designer: Jon Stoumen, Architect
Date of Construction: 2001-2004
Builder: Jon Stoumen