Year Completed: 2019
- A home that was efficient
- A home that would endure
- A home that would function
Ed and Leigh have always believed that form must follow function. In a well thought out system, there must be a reason for everything. Things without reason should be removed. This belief set the tone for the home. The floor-to-ceiling windows and brick wall passively heat the home. The island kitchen separates cooking from baking and guests from hosts. Long roof overhangs protect the house from snow and block the high summer sun.
Elegance is the intersection of function, beauty and simplicity. The structure’s simple geometric shapes respect the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. As does the muted palette of the interior. The building should frame the expansive view, not compete with it.
For Ed’s family, building a custom home was a once in my lifetime opportunity. With many decades ahead of us, the house needs to accommodate their changing needs as we age. This meant no stairs, ADA compliant doors and hallways. Additionally, blocking was placed within the walls for handrails if needed.
Beyond mobility concerns, the structure itself needs to last well into the future. The house’s location in the Rocky Mountain high county creates additional structural demands. To resist the strain of 100mph winds and yards of snow, a steel post and beam system support the roof. To mitigate the ever present wild fire danger, the exterior material palette is steel, masonry and glass. With Class A fire rated TPO roofing and Ipe decking.
When Ed and Leigh set out to design and build a solar augmented house, it was a choice to build differently, to build smarter. A structure that passively offsets heating costs while maximizing the use of a beautiful mountain view. Efficiency is a Win-win, better for the home owner and better for the environment.
Passive solar heat gain accounts for 75% of their home heating needs. At 8,200ft of elevation in climate Zone 5, the high temperature hovers around freezing through the winter. Even in these cold winter conditions, the hydronic in-floor heating is used less then 6 hours each night. The heat engine of the home is a southeasterly window wall paired with masonry thermal masses. The exposed concrete slab floor and internal brick wall provide 90 tonnes of thermal mass. During the summer, the sloped high ceilings carry hot air up and out of the house via awning windows.