earth sheltered passive solar designs

design northwest


tramp harbor residence

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Featuring a three story, finely detailed, open stairway the Tramp Harbor residence was designed to operate both as a home and a small second office for a psychiatrist. Private and public areas are separated vertically and a second entrance was designed that completely keeps patient and family activities away from one another. Additionally, the vertical nature of the design allows the splendid views of Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains to be seen from virtually every room.

Naturally, some building sites limit the degree to which passive solar and/or earth sheltering can be employed to mitigate heating and cooling costs. However, at Design Northwest we believe every project can incorporate some elements of the system we have developed.

The Tramp Harbor home is situated on a wooded hillside with the primary view to the east. The southern exposure to the sun is filtered by large evergreen trees. However, we choose to incorporate as many passive solar elements as possible, nestling the structure into the hillside creating thermal mass and collecting as much of the sun’s energy as possible by maximizing windows to the south and southeast. Additional efficiency is gained by the use of a heat pump driven forced air system and maximizing the use of thermal chimney effect.

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