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Boulder Contemporary


Single Family Residence


Boulder, Colorado

Year Completed


Design Team

Satto Rugg, Architect

General Contractor

Eastwind Services


Bodhgaia Architecture

Contemporary solar design with a penchant for openness - from the interior spaces within to connection with the beautiful garden space.

This contemporary solar home replaces a dilapidated 2- story ranch on a spectacular lot. The design takes full advantage of the southern orientation and views opening onto a generous private garden. A two-story grenhouse space brings light additional warmth in winter, as well as providing an ideal food production space. Gently arced glue-lam beams support the roof which holds both solar thermal and PV panels. Numerous energy saving features won this house an Energy Star 5-Star Plus rating.

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Featured in the Boulder Solar Home Tour, 2007.

  • Passive solar design; living spaces oriented to south with maximum fenestration and roof overhangs

  • Active solar thermal HW and heating system: ten evacuated-tube panels + eight hundred gallon storage tank

  • calculated to provide shade in summer.

  • 6.2 kW grid-tied Photovoltaic electric system

  • House designed around existing deciduous trees which allow sun penetration in winter and provide shade to southern façade in summer.

  • Open plan layout with convective heat transfer; high thermal mass radiant floor heating.

  • 2-story indoor greenhouse for heat gain and potential food production.

  • Window glass individually tuned to orientation; southern glass tuned to maximum SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) for heating and western glass to block low-angle afternoon sun in summer.

  • High performance closed-cell foam insulation in walls and roofs.

  • Geothermal effect used for wine storage/root cellar

  • HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) system to provide fresh air without losing stored heat

  • Wood backup heat

  • Lyptus hardwood flooring; sustainably managed and harvested

  • Kitchen cabinets of wheatboard, Lyptus and cork. No urea formaldehyde; natural oil finish.

  • American Clay & plaster wall finishes

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