Under Construction 1978


JF Carlson Architects Inc.

Solar House
Northern California
Occidental, California

In early 1978 Jim Carlson was hired to design a new passive solar house. He was selected based upon his book Solar Primer One that was published in 1975 and the solar energy expertise that he had gained in his under graduate research while attending Cal Poly Pomona School of Architecture in the early 1970's.

The owners design program called for a simple modern, functional house to be located on a sloping site one mile from all utilities. Solar heat was to be utilized for hot water and general heating, electrical power would be provided by a diesel generator set and propane refrigerators and other devices would be utilized to off set additional power requirements. The house was to be designed in such a way as to make maximum use of the prevailing views to the south and west and the overall architectural style was to be simple, functional and blend with the natural environment.


The Solar House was designed to incorporate a Passive Solar Hot Air System that would circulate the hot air heated from the Solar panels through under floor duct work to heat the house. 

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