This house in Colorado’s Phantom Canyon Nature Preserve was designed to celebrate the beauty of its gorgeous natural setting.
Built without disturbing any existing trees or boulders and oriented to efficiently control and utilize the sun’s warmth and light, the house relies on plentiful ultra-efficient windows to facilitate daylighting and views but reduce heat gain. Thermal mass materials such as the stained concrete floors help temper interior comfort throughout the year while deep roof overhangs provide cooling shade during the summer. A discreetly positioned solar thermal system captures solar energy to provide 100% of the home’s hot water and meet 80% of the in-floor radiant heating requirements. In addition, a 680-watt grid-tied PV array keeps the home’s OutBack SmartRE backup battery system charged.
To minimize runoff and facilitate stormwater infiltration, MQ Architecture & Design chose concrete pavers for the patios and gravel for parking surfaces and walkways. Gravel swales, revegetated native grasses and flowers, and locally sourced boulder walls provide further stormwater control. Even the exterior lighting was designed to minimize the home’s environmental footprint by pointing downward to reduce light pollution.
The careful siting of this home impressed the judges so much, they said it appears to be part of the landscape. They also were wowed by the beautifully crafted timber frame/SIPs hybrid construction and the home’s many locally sourced materials, including beetle-kill pine flooring, reclaimed concrete tile roofing, locally quarried stone siding, and flagstone and tile countertops.