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When you Select-A-SunPlan, Adapt-A-SunPlan or Create-A-SunPlan, did you know that you can receive much more than the word “plan” implies? The amount and type of service varies with each type of plan product and is tailored to fit your concerns.

In addition to the printed plans or electronic PDF files, you can receive assistance directly from the architect.

Study Plan – In addition to the Study Plan, receive The Sun-Inspired House (256 pages) which is full of information about general sun-inspired construction and answers to questions that others have asked us over the years. Receive email clarifications from the architect regarding information presented in the book and how it relates to the the Study Plan you are considering.

Review Set – In addition to the Study Plan and Review Set, receive answers from our architect to questions that you have about the plan. Also included are general comments on ideas that you may have about possible changes.

Construction Prints – In addition to the large drawings, receive Custom Energy Specs prepared by our architect who designed the home. The specs are based on the combination of the climate where the house will be constructed AND the particulars of each Sun Plan since each design is different. Our architect presents tailored options for the energy features based on your stated energy goals whether Energy Star, Passiv Haus standards, Net-Zero Energy or anywhere in-between. She also provides clarifications with your builder before and during construction regarding the Plans and Specs.

CAD Files – In addition to the CAD Files, associated documents and Custom Energy Specs, you can receive consulting between our architect and your design professional making the changes regarding the energy implications of the proposed changes that you have requested.

(As with any professional service and well-run business, the amount of consulting may be limited and relates to the price of the product purchased.)

Read more about the various types of drawings available and download examples


A Sun Plans’ customer built a variation of the Northern Sun design from the  CAD files in the Pacific North-west. Their goal was to create a net-zero energy building by creating as much energy as they consumed. This basic premise was important to them because the building also houses their for-profit conservation organization.

The site selected allowed them to orient the home’s longer axis east-west for solar gain. Their home qualified for numerous federal tax credits and for funding from the Energy Trust of Oregon.

“The [Northern Sun] house was designed to be tight, inexpensive to operate, aggressive in taking advantage of sunlight, progressively green, and aesthetically pleasing. It excels at each of these objectives. While the owners do not yet know if it will be a truly net-zero energy home, it will definitely come very close.” [Green + Solar, Building Oregon 2008]


  • Triple-pane argon filled Thermo-Tech windows,with multiple latch points
  • Super insulated ceilings, floors,and walls
  • Insulated exterior doors with multiple latch points
  • Very low air leakage (via blower door test)
  • Insulated window shades
  • Energy recovery ventilator
  • Whole house fan
  • High-place ventilating windows for stack effect
  • Premium efficient tax credit-qualified appliances (better than Energy Star)
  • CFLs or T-5 lights throughout
  • “Variable Frequency” high-efficiency well pump
  • Passive solar design
  • High-solar gain windows on south side.
  • Solar mass in floor and dining room wall
  • Rheem solar water tank – 120 gallons
  • 50-year recyclable metal roof
  • Paperstone FSC-certified paper countertops
  • Interior doors consist of 85% wheat straw and 15% exterior wood veneer
  • Low and no-toxicity/VOC coatings and finishes
  • HardiePlank™ cement and wood-fiber siding

    We had suspected that this client went well beyond the normal standard of care in paying attention to energy details, and when we later saw two articles by them in Home Power magazine, we were convinced of it! Some customers choose to have us assist them with project details through our custom services while others like Andy prefer (and seem to enjoy!) doing more of the research and project planning themselves. CAD Files from Sun Plans make that possible.

    See the Northern Sun floor plan.

    July 2018
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