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martin_holladay_250The Sun-Inspired House Book Review by Popular “Energy Nerd” Martin Holladay

As editor of the Energy Design Update, Martin Holladay wrote a review of my book in the July 2008 issue:

“The Sun-Inspired House, a 247-page book by architect Debra Rucker Coleman, may be the best available introduction to passive solar design. Coleman’s book is much more useful than three better- known books on the topic:…”

Later that year, Holladay joined the GreenBuildingAdvisor.com team as senior editor where his “Musings of an Energy Nerd” blog is one of my favorites. It is always chock full of interesting information on energy savings and green approaches.

Musings of an Energy Nerd
Martin Holladay’s new blog at Green Building Advisor is a favorite.

 Read his full review here: http://www.sunplans.com/misc/Energy%20Design%20Update%20pages%2014-15.pdf

6-21-09-ss-2-aIt only makes sense that we would feature “The Solstice” home design this quarter. And it just so happens that a reversed version was constructed by one of our favorite builders. (See more on Anchorage Builders below.) They not only sent us many photos of the house, but took the time to tell us about the energy details of which they are so proud:

“The Solstice was built for Bill and Nicole in Efland, NC. It turned out great and they are experiencing a comfortable, self regulating house with very low electric bills, in the $40-60 per month range depending on season. Bill’s professional woodworking shop is running off the same meter, too. They have great cross breezes and the passive solar works like a dream.”

Here are the general energy-related specs on the house:6-21-09-ss-2-b

Orientation – south wall faces 4 degrees east of true south

Foundation – Raised, insulated slab with extensive tile on first floor

2×6 walls with extensive air sealing

Wall & Roof Insulation – Icynene (sprayed foam)

South Glass – Cardinal LoE-178 #3 0.63 SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) which lets in 63% of the sun’s heat. Overhang designed to keep sun off of glass in summer.

E,W, N Glass – Cardinal Lo-E 170 0.37 SHGC glass (this glass keeps out the sun, but lets in a high amount of visible light)

6-21-09-ss-2-c(The window data above is for the glass only. Pella ProLine casements and awnings were used. Cardinal is one of the most popular glass manufacturer’s and is used by many window manufacturers.)

HVAC – 2 small heat pumps for up and down, with extra air returns or transfer grilles, and fresh air intake

Wood stove

Solar hot water

Garage & Shop – detached, pre-plumbed conduit for future PV (large roof area, rotated to face south)

Interior Finishes – hickory flooring in kitchen (dropped slab to allow flush transition) and upstairs, cherry trim and interior doors, custom faux finish paint on some areas, extensive color elsewhere, owner built front door (mahogany) and birch kitchen cabinets, stone chimney

Exterior Finishes – local craftsman built timber frame front entry with cherry T&G gable inside porch covering

6-21-09-ss-2-d“It was an great experience and co-collaboration with the home owners on finishing details. We had the house on the local green building tour last May; it was a great example of true passive solar and great architecture. ”

Vernon Little
Anchorage Building Corp

(While you can understand why they would not want people that area not in their building area asking more detailed questions about this house, if you are in their building radius as mentioned below then I feel sure that they would not mind a few questions.)

http://www.sunplans.com/html/houseDisplay.php3?house=Solstice