Manchester Indiana Passive Solar Home
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The 1817 sf main upper floor of this house includes a foyer, large open living-dining area with fireplace and large south-facing passive solar windows, kitchen, a master bedroom w/ private bath, 2 other bedrooms with a hallway bath, plus a laundry room.  The bedrooms are along the north, since they don't need as much solar heating or daylighting.  The full basement has a family room well-daylit by the lower bank of south-facing passive solar windows.  The basement also has a den, exercise room, bathroom and mechanical room.

Windows are sized and distributed for both passive solar and natural ventilation.  Bathrooms, laundry and mechanical rooms are on the north and east, the downwind sides of the house.  The upper floor ceiling is slightly vaulted up and away from the south window wall to promote natural interior movement of solar-heated air into the heart of the house.  This distribution strategy also works for moving the wood-heated air. Optimally sized south overhangs, a covered west entry porch and the attached garage all block summer sunbeams during the peak AC season.  The attached garage on the west also protects living spaces from cold winter winds. 

The high-heel roof trusses are insulated with R-50 blown fiberglass.  Upstairs walls are constructed with 6 1/2" EPS-core SIPs.  The wood foundation basement walls are all fully insulated, and its slab is fully insulated along its edges and base.  The exterior-clad wood-framed casement, awning and picture windows have low very air infiltration ratings and tripane HeatMirror glass.

Heating fuel is mostly deadwood gathered by the owner from a backyard woods, plus scrap wood picked up from a local sawmill. Wood is burned in a very efficient low emissions airtight fireplace supplied directly with outside air for its combustion.  An LP-fired water heater, also fed directly with outside air, provides the only other combustion heat for space and water heating.  An air-to-air heat-exchanging whole-house ventilator is used to exhaust year-round and dehumidify in winter/spring while supplying balanced outside air intake to the living spaces.

John F Robbins, CEM / CSDP 
3519 Moffett Rd
Morning View, KY USA


John F. Robbins is also at LinkedIn and Facebook