Southern Cypress Sun-Tempered, Passive Solar Home
October 2 - October 3
As the architect and general contractor, we designed and built the Southern Cypress in 1998 for our site that had a west approach with a pond to the east. A farmhouse style front porch shades the west windows from afternoon summer sun. The long side of the home faces south where most of the windows are located. Overhangs protect these windows from higher summer sun. East windows face the morning sun and pond yet are shaded by porches and trees. Winter heating and summer cooling energy use are about equal. Annual whole house electric use averages 700 kWh/month or about $1200 per year. Add-ons include a passive solar heating water system, exterior rigid insulation board to minimize thermal breaks, dense-packed cellulose insulation in walls and between rafters, a light-colored metal roof, and a variable speed air to air heat pump located in conditioned space. Since the home was built in a warm climate, the home is “sun-tempered” with less south windows than a typical passive solar home that might have south glass area of 7-10% of the heated floor square footage. The south wall faces 15 degrees east of south for better cooling.