I just wrapped up my class at GCC on Archicad. I am really grateful for having and being able to use a CAD program. Attached is my first run through on a design for the first floor. I haven’t drawn up a second floor or roof yet for it.
Solar hot water and air class started yesterday and Piping and Passive Solar start today.
I am certain now that the house will have two floors. Although I haven’t been to the site with a solar pathfinder (to determine the amount of sun the site gets based on obstacles) I am fairly certain the neighbors house to the south will block a significant portion of the winter sun. Having the panels on top of a second floor roof will mitigate this issue.
Thoughts – I think a second floor is a good idea. In my home, I’ve always considered my bedroom as a place to retreat to, away from the hustle and bustle. Having your bedroom right off the living space doesn’t give you that in the same way. I know you want to keep the square footage down, which is key to the low carbon footprint. 🙂
Although the bedroom entrance isn’t far from the living space, it is as far away from the living space as possible. One is forced to walk down the short hall to get to it. Guests will never have a reason to go there.
The first floor bedroom is more a result of having only one bathroom. We don’t want to deal with stairs during night time visits. Secondarily, one of our goals is to make the house handicapped accessible–or at least easily retrofitted to be so.
Not all stairs have to be noisy! If the stairs are well supported, properly shimmed and glued, they should not creak.