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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 finishes.

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 of many.

Size: 3,000 sq. foot house plus garage, studio and greenhouse/breezeway

Designer: Jon Stoumen, Architect

Date of Construction: 2001-2004

Builder:  Jon Stoumen

Tags: New Construction
Passive Solar
Solar Photovoltaic
Advanced framing
High Thermal Mass
Building Performance
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)

Mail can be sent to: SiGBA P.O. Box 4245 Truckee, CA 96160

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