Starboard Solar House

Paul Shippee, Designer

This award-winning, 1550 s.f. design by Colorado Sunworks demonstrates inexpensive solar heating in an attractive conventional format. The type of passive system used is the Mass Trombe Wall: a 12 inch thick vertical wall of solid concrete, two stories high. Generous openings allow sunlight to enter for daytime lighting and provide for a view. The wall stores solar heat passing through its glass cover. The heat moves slowly through the wall reaching the interior surface in the evening. Warmth then radiates to the rooms as needed. At sundown, a self-inflating, reflective thermal curtain of five layers lowers itself automatically between the glass and the wall, insulating against long cold winter nights. The house is 85% solar-heated. The 2-story single-glass wall is framed with steel rectangular tube columns for extra structural strength against the wind. All 3 upstairs bedrooms open onto a view down to the 1st floor, which is nice enough perhaps in itself but the main purpose is to allow mild solar heat from the Trombe wall to rise into the bedrooms, then return downstairs via the cooler north side stairway, a natural convection loop.

First Floor

The floor plan features a high atrium centrally located for natural lighting. A greenhouse is optional off the dining room. The garage buffers the north side.

Second Floor

Second floor bedrooms are separated by the atrium space. A connecting balcony overlooks the downstairs.

Seasonal Modes

The warm massive wall radiates heat to rooms on winter evenings. The surrounding low concrete walls add thermal mass, aiding summer cooling: night air drawn from side windows circulates naturally (no fans) up through the wall cavity, cooling the mass, then exits at the roof hatch.

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I specifically disclaim any warranty, either expressed or implied, concerning the information on these pages. Neither I nor any of the designer/architects associated with this site will have liability for loss, damage, or injury, resulting from the use of any information found on this, or any other page at this site. Kelly Hart, Hartworks, Inc.

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