Hopper Design, LLC


Toward Healthy and Sustainable Homes

Designs - Solar Cabin 24x32

3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom

 Download plans: $175.00

Cabin footprint 24' x 32' (total 1,210 square feet)
First floor is 757 square feet and the second floor is 453 square feet.

This Solar Cabin has its entrance at the east corner. There are three bedrooms with the master bedroom on the first floor. A bunk bedroom/study and a small home office/bedroom are on the second floor. The house has one bathroom accessed from the living room and master bedroom.

This south-facing cabin is set into the land with earth berming providing a friendly human scale. The earth berming and low profile on the north provide a low surface area to substantially reduce heat loss during cold winter months. It is compactly designed for efficient use of space and is economical to build, substantially lowering construction costs. These features allow reduction of non-renewable energy needs, making it possible to achieve net zero energy usage. This cabin provides all essential living needs conveniently on the first floor, making it suitable for folks of all ages. While it is very compact in plan, it looks and feels spacious and friendly.

...

View of south and east elevations at 11 a.m. in mid-August.

The south facade has substantial glazing on both floors to allow passive solar gain in winter. It can be seen in the figure above that solar energy is just beginning to enter the house first floor in early fall starting the season for passive solar heating for the home. We place active solar thermal and solar electric systems on the south roof. These systems can be added at a later date.

The living and dining are open to the roof above with a high ceiling. These areas feel and appear spacious. The pullman kitchen is highly functional and faces east for morning light. Stacked washer and dryer are placed left of the refrigerator. The kitchen is set off by a wall common to the stair and living area to define these spaces yet provides an open plan for ease of circulation. The kitchen is directly accessible from the entrance and dining.

...

Solar Cabin first floor plan showing entries, stair, kitchen, dining, living, master bedroom, bathroom, closets, and utilities.

...

Solar Cabin second floor plan showing bunk bedroom/study and home office/bedroom with stair and bridge access. The first floor is in view below.

...

Entrance view from northeast. Note the very low height of the wall and roof line facing north. This helps to direct cold winds up and over the roof reducing heat loss from the building envelope in winter. This design also keeps the interior volume of cubic feet to a minumum to reduce energy and material costs.

...

Site Plan with drive entries possible from northwest through east to southwest.

Active solar design

The roof of the Solar Cabin can support a variety of active solar systems. This option shows a solar thermal domestic hot water system in the top center and a grid-tie photovoltaic system on the rest of the roof for the production of electricity. These systems can be added at a later date.

...

View of the south and west elevations with substantial glazing for direct passive solar energy collection, a 4.6 kWh photovoltaic array, and three thermal collectors for the production of domestic hot water.

...

View of the south and east elevations with 22 photovoltaic panels and three 4' x 8' domestic hot water solar collector panels. The east and west second floor bedroom windows are egress compliant.

More images

Interior views stretched to include items of interest.
...

View looking southeast through living to dining. Kitchen entrance and stair is on the left. An optional wood stove can provide supplemental heating in winter.

...

View to north of living, dining, and kitchen.

...

View looking south at the living space.

...

View of master bedroom with entry to walk-in closet and bathroom.

...

View of bunk bedroom and study.

...

View of Solar Cabin on June 21 at 11 a.m., summer solstice. Note how well the south windows are shaded from excess solar energy.

...

View of Solar Cabin on December 21 at 11 a.m., winter solstice. Note how well the south windows allow passive solar energy into the home.