Lake Tahoe gets its far share of snow, but it also gets a lot of sunny days. The owners of this new Alpine Meadows Cabin wanted to take advantage of the favorable climate, so they hired San Francisco office CCS Architecture to build them a two-story cabin that makes use of active and passive solar design. The home's orientation, thermal mass, natural ventilation, and rooftop solar system are just a few of the design features that make this abode ultra energy-efficient.
The Alpine Meadows Cabin is located on sloping, south-facing lot with views out towards the mountains on the northwestern side of Lake Tahoe. The clients requested that their home maximize the views of their lot and that it be powered by the sun. The lower floor contains a bedroom, bathroom, recreation, and study room, while the main living space is locate on the top floor along with the master bedroom, and bath.
Oriented on an east-west axis, the main rooms of the house enjoy views and the sun. The 2,500 sq ft home is optimized for passive solar with shading and overhangs, while concrete floors act as thermal mass to help stabilize and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. One side of the roof is covered with a 600 sq ft solar system with both photovoltaic and thermal panels that generate electricity, heat air, and heat the domestic hot water for the home. During the summer, natural and cross ventilation provides enough cooling to not need AC.
Images ©CCS Architecture