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We welcome the opportunity to assist you with sun-inspired services and/or house plans.  Tracy helps with most construction drawings.

There are many choices for Consulting Services from helping with plan selection, starting a custom design, to code-required Manual J calculations if the local heating and air contractor cannot provide them for you. If you can suggest other services that would help you in the planning process and than could be offered as an additional Consulting Service, please let us hear from you!

As always, we continuously modify our services based on the feedback of our past and future home owners.

Enjoy Memorial Day as we give thanks to those who have served us and as we give hope to a reduced need for fighting for our energy independence by conserving energy and utilizing the energy from the sun.

Look for our Summer E-newsletter next where we plan to feature a completed home and perhaps a few new designs.
(Sometimes, with a previous request from the home owner, we do not post their house plan to our website until they have finished construction since although they do not mind if we market and sell the design to others, they want to be the first to build it!)

Sun Plans Inc.
Debra Coleman, Architect, AIA
Author of
The Sun-Inspired House:
house designs warmed and brightened by the sun

Contact Us
Sun-Inspired Design: the gold lining of green building

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Conni and Craig looked through house plan after house plan. Being outdoor people and having three children on the downhill side of growing up, they sensibly realized that they only needed a small home. Unfortunately, there was not a small enough plan on the Sun Plan’s Web to meet their needs and their budget. They could have “settled for” the relatively small first floor of Fernwood with its 1484 s.f., but instead chose to Create-A-SunPlan. They saved over 300 s.f. with a custom design. That was almost $50,000 worth of first floor and daylight basement square feet. The Sun Plan’s design fee was less than 20% of that which saved them over $40,000. That sums up one of our primary goals with custom design – to save you money in construction costs.

In addition to the quote from their letter, Conni also shared:

“We’ve been in the house since Sept. 27th and we LOVE it! It has performed amazingly well. We’ve had an exceptionally cold winter and it’s so nice to come home to a cozy, warm house – often over 70 degrees Fahrenheit – when it’s been below zero all day (and the heat is free!) After working on this house, our heating guy is sold on passive solar and highly recommends it to others. We’re comfortable when just the 2 of us are home, yet the house handles crowds well too (30+ for a 4-H mtg/lunch, 16 for Thanksgiving, etc.) There was never a “breaking-in” stage; this house immediately felt like home.”

Needless to say, these kinds of letters make our day!

See the floor plans of the French Cowgirl.

Well, we’ve run out of time if we want to get this out before the end of June 21, so we’ll have to add new designs in the next email. For now, you can take a peak at the above link to Upcoming Plans.

The 3D images posted here show our latest custom design. If you are interested in Custom Design, please let us know.

In our last email newsletter we mentioned the fact that we often Work in the Clouds.

Well, we feel it only appropriate to mention that the astronauts at the international space station are now Working 100% in the Sun since the last 2 solar wings have just become operational. In orbit, the panels receive 1.5KWh/square meter – that’s per hour. Down here on the earth’s surface, the middle latitudes still receive roughly about half of that energy or about .75KWh/square meter For an average of 6 hours per day that equals about 4.5KWh per day. Your local active solar consultant (try can help you work out the details for your lifestyle, budget, and local incentives described at

(“Working in the Clouds” is a phrase we recently heard while attending a Google web-based seminar. Since over 90% of our custom design work is done with homeowners that we never meet face-to-face, it seems to adequately describe our email, computer-based services that allow the client to respond to our designs at their convenience. Of course some find that there is also a place for face to face meetings and phone calls. We tailor the process to each client’s design style.)

See how much sun would hit solar panels in your area of the US.

Plan on selecting your plan or completing your custom design about 2-6 months prior to the start of construction. This allows time for selecting materials, products, builders, home energy raters, structural engineers, etc.Interview general contractors for their experience with energy-efficient residential construction. Ones with formal training in high-performance home construction and/or are Home Energy Raters are good choices. In fact, choosing a home energy rater early is a great first step since they can be the best leads for builders as well as insulation and HVAC subs.

Steve, who sent us the photo of his Adirondack Atrium house (to the right), has been planning and building for well over a year and still seems to be sane despite running his own business!

If your local design professional will be making changes to the plan from our CAD files or Erasable Vellums, allow time for them to provide their services which might average 2 months.

July 2018
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