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Basic plans or example of passive solar 2-3BR with masonry heater / masonry stove for New England?  RSS feed

 
Steven Kovacs
Posts: 226
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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I'm looking for just a basic plan of a small (1200 sq ft?), 1-2 story, 2-3 bedroom, 1-2 bath home that would have many or all of the following features:
- Passive solar design
- Suitable for New England (with a simple, reasonably steep snow-shedding roof with large overhangs for keeping rain away from the foundation, and angled to provide sun in winter and shade in summer)
- A central masonry stove / heater that could heat the kitchen, living room, and dining nook (I would prefer a corner or window-seat nook with a table and benches - they're very cozy and compact) and maybe even extend into the bedrooms to provide heat.  If it's a two-story, maybe a two-story masonry stove to heat the upstairs bedrooms.
- The common areas (living room at least) aimed south for good light
- The bedrooms getting morning (eastern) light
- All rooms (except maybe the bathroom) getting light from two sides
- An entry mudroom (ideally sunken a few inches, with a tile / stone / concrete floor - I know from experience this is a great thing to have as the melting snow starts to turn everything to mud in the spring)
- As simple a house shape as possible (a classic rectangle is great)
- A compact, efficient kitchen (U, L, galley, etc. with a reasonably tight work triangle)
- Possibly a second oven in the kitchen as part of the masonry heater
- Ideally, wood for the masonry heater could be brought in through the mudroom to the heater without tracking dirt etc. through the rest of the house
- Water pipes grouped as much as possible in one part of the house for easy access for repair (so the kitchen, laundry, and bathroom would be near each other)
- Generally following the principles outlined in A Pattern Language

Can anyone point me to something like this?

Thanks!

 
Glenn Herbert
gardener
Posts: 2224
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Not pre-designed, but your requirements are generally applicable enough that I could see a compatible design being useful for a great many people. I may take a shot at it (being an architectural designer with a number of house designs under my belt).
 
Steven Kovacs
Posts: 226
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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Thanks!  If you do, I'd love to see what you come up with, even if it isn't "finished."
 
Glenn Herbert
gardener
Posts: 2224
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Here is a plan that addresses most of the requested criteria. Some of them are not readily compatible with each other. This plan is two stories, three bedrooms, one and a half baths, in 1200 square feet.

The second story overhangs 16" on the south side to shade the first floor windows in summer. The masonry heater is next to the stairs so that heat can readily disperse throughout the house. It is not right next to the kitchen, but close enough that an oven in it should be usable, and wood can be brought in through the kitchen. The roof is show at 8:12 pitch, which gives a useful attic, plenty of snow-shedding slope, a decent solar collector base, and a traditional profile. There is a basement stair indicated, but if a slab on grade is desired, this can become a fair-sized utility closet for electric panel and water heater.

A plan in the absence of a site can obviously not be complete, and any particular site would likely inform some minor modifications. I would be happy to discuss drawing up detailed plans if anyone is interested in actually building a house like this.
house1200-1-plans.gif
[Thumbnail for house1200-1-plans.gif]
first and second floor plans
house1200-1-elsec.gif
[Thumbnail for house1200-1-elsec.gif]
south elevation and section
 
Steven Kovacs
Posts: 226
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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Glenn,

Thank you so much for working this up and sharing it!
 
tomas viajero
Posts: 47
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That's very nice of Glen to post plans for a house.   Most professionals usually charge a lot.   I certainly did.

That being said, your needs would probably fit well into a 4 bent timberframe Salt Box.  2-3 bedrooms upstairs, open first floor, centered around a masonry heater.   Your masonry heater on the first floor would probably handle all your heating needs.   I don't know about Massechusets but here in NY we have to install some kind of mechanical heating system that  kicks-in if the temps get too low. 

As Glen points out, a site visit is most likely required to design anything.   He has given you a good start.  
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1142
Location: northern northern california
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yes thats neat that you got a simple design posted for you =)

something else you might like to look into is designs that use clerestory windows, clerestory designs.

i've actually no idea why these are named clerestory, perhaps it has something to do with being originally church designs...but the concept is one commonly found in reference to passive solar designs...
 
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