Home Plan Detail

Solar Scoop

By: Ted Montgomery
GroundSwell Architects


Square Footage

Total living area: 1600'
Basement: 0'
Main Level: 984'
Upper Level: 616'
Footprint: 47' 0" W x 41' 0" D


Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Master suite location: Upper Floor


Levels: 2
Parking: Garage
Number of car stalls: 1
Foundation: Slab
Lot type(s):
Modifiable to:
Modifiable to:
All others


  • Unique Architecture
  • Sunken Livingroom
  • View Decks
  • Open Floorplan
  • Passive Solar


The exterior is a combination of wood clapboards and MDO plywood siding, but you can of course select any materials you'd like. The exterior angles and details change with every step if you were to walk around the house, and all of them – in our opinion – are as beautiful as they are unique.

The front entry is covered by a beautiful rounded balcony off the master bedroom. The airlock foyer has a large coat closet and a powder room to either side, and it looks into the living room through a glazed wall, and has a door (that isn't shown on the plan) that separates it from the rest of the house. A short hallway leads past two steps down to the sunken living room on your way to the stairs and the rest of the living areas. The living room has windows at each corner, and a centrally located fireplace.

The open kitchen area includes a large island with a pair of sinks, and a special spot for a desk. The dining area is surrounded by glazed windows and doors, and the cathedral ceiling rises all the way to the roofline, where "waves" of windows also bathe the upper level in natural light. Also located on this level are a den with a large closet, and a laundry/mechanical room.

The upper floor is just as unique as the lower level. Particularly in the master bath area, which is broken up into two bathroom areas – one for the master suite and another for a second bedroom – separated by a tub room. Pocket doors make each area private. It is from the bath area that the private balcony over the front door is accessed. The ceiling in the master bedroom rises to 12'6", one entire wall is devoted to closet space, and glazed doors lead out to a private deck. A second bedroom includes a closet that accesses a large storage area, and doors that lead out to another private deck.

Passive Solar & Construction Info
A solar scoop on the southeast/southwest corner gathers in the sun, providing enough annual solar gain in cold climates to require less than two cords of hardwood for auxiliary heating. The aperture is insulated at night with pull down shades, or it can be glazed with high performance, Low E, triple glass. The walls are double framed with two layers of 2x4s, providing a full 10" space for insulation. The floor is foam insulated exposed slab on grade, and is finished with heat absorbent tile. Additional heating comes from the radiant hydronic floor and backup wood stove. The plans also include an electric baseboard heat option (which may not be appropriate for all regions due to high electric costs).

Floor Plans