Homestead Alternatives
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Getting Started
  The solar design process begins with your building site.  Latitude will determine the sun angles that you will be working with.  Macro climate drives the insulation levels, window types, and vapor barrier locations. 
Lot orientation, obstacles that might block sunlight, wind exposure and other micro climate specifics will further influence the overall design of a sunspace.  

  A sunspace in Montana will need to be different than the sunspace in Arizona.  The angles of the sun are much different and will be addressed by different overhang  lengths and shapes.  Heating and cooling seasons will dictate material decisions that impact performance year round.   We have over one hundred years of recorded weather data (  to help us predict the conditions that your buidling will endure throughout the year.

  Your interaction with your sunspace has a direct impact on energy savings.  By allowing greater temperature fluctuations and manually operating window coverings,  you can keep heating costs to a minimum.  Plants and people will thrive in this environment.   We have begun to monitor the sunspace that we have built in 1985.  Here is a sample of the temperature swings that occurred during an above average September into a below average October (2009).  Note that the allowed indoor temperatures were dropped into the low 60's at night, during a period when daytime temps were into the 90's.  This helped to temper the daytime indoor temperatures to the low 70's.  The sunspace fluctuates more than the interior living space and you will be able to see the direct relationship to the solar and the outside temperature. 
                       SUNSPACE TEMP CHARTS . doc
Overhangs are designed to control the amount of energy that can enter your sunspace throughout the year.

The designed overhang will increase with
the distance from the top of the window.

The picture above shows the shadow line in late March and the picture below shows the shadow line in early March.
There is no better room to relax in than your sunspace.

If you look forward to ripe tomatoes in January, or need a comforting place to recover your sanity, this is the place for you.

Don't overlook the views to the South.

Our Solar Dog House project is a huge success that really went to the dogs.  Warm in winter and cool in summer, you can contact us for a set of plans and build your own.
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