Passive Design / New Construction


From the first discussions about this project, both client and architect aspired to address resource conservation and green building strategies in all aspects of the work. The degraded landscapes of the ranch were rested and rotated with a variety of cover grasses to return nutrition to the soils. The North Fork of the Gunnison River, running through the property, was cleared of invasive species and accumulated debris to enhance fish habitat and water quality. Unnecessary ranch roads were closed and seeded and the water resources and irrigation infrastructure were improved to allow for the most effective use. The existing wood cabin, granary, tool building, tractor shed and slaughter house buildings were all recycled into the new design.

The house was made to be passively cooled and extremely thermally efficient. The primary envelope of the enclosure was done with 12” thick insulated panels with an R-44 rating. The timber post and beam frame, locally made from local timber sources, supports an oversized roof that serves as the principal environment moderating system, creating deep-set outdoor spaces and shading the walls from the harsh dessert sun. The louvered areas of the roof allow natural ventilation to remove heat from under the roof and principles of passive airflow are employed throughout the design. The heating systems include a hydronic solar assembly to supplement the domestic hot water needs.