This past month I wanted to expand on an idea I had designing tiny homes for use with larger ranch and split level homes.  The split level home is ideal in the  mountain regions where I live at where we have lots of hills and mountain side terraces that people use for building.  The main thing of the design was for the home to have a logical work flow for the inhabitants as well as a logical layout for such things as the duct work and the solar space heating panels which must have an easy means of access to their duct work, and any tie in into the furnace duct work.

  The design resulted in me providing three models for those interested in the insights of the design, where the first model shows the basement level with its duct work in a cavity inside the basement ceiling and the solar panels situated at a level where their ducts can be extended outwards towards the ventilation duct work of the furnace.  I did not provide the solar panel ducts since that is a matter of what the builders might envision they want to do with the duct before they apply them to the system.  However their ventilation ports are now level with the furnace duct work.  The second model details the living space layout of the ground level floor and its logical work flow.  I am using thermal mass on the ground flow for thermal control and better comfort.

  My designs do not look like the average solar home design since I make use of common brick and other local market materials for the construction.  They lack fine architectural details that add additional cost to the construction.  Although sometimes I do add some items of interest and this model has something for the aesthetic value in its design.  What I do like to do is add a cellar in basements and north side shaded areas for those who want to cool off when they are outside doing lawn work or just lounging around outside.  This design uses two solar shaded features on the south side to control the solar heat gain in the summer time.

   As you can see from the first picture above, that the south side is darkly shaded in the month of June.  

  You can view and navigate these three models here: Split Level Solarized Home

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