I've been waiting to put up any drawings of the house until we had something final (these are preliminary) but since things are going a little slow I am going to show a little of what we have so far. This is a cross section of the living area (the section we are building now). Now this is very, very basic; we have not clarified how the roof will be supported or anything. This mainly shows what we are trying to accomplish as far as using the sun. The formula is very simple; orient the house length-wise on an east-west axis, concentrate glass on the south side, insulate well, provide adequate overhangs on windows for the summer. It is very important not to exceed 7% of your total floor space in south-facing windows though or the house will overheat. So if you had a 1,000 sq. ft house, you should have no more than 70 sq. ft. of glass on the south side. In cooler climates, they say to limit the north and east windows to about 3% but here in the south, we can have more because they help with cooling, which is our biggest challenge. The clerestory windows will help throw sunlight onto the north side of the interior and if we have an interior wall constructed for thermal mass, they will help warm it. I have been using a number of books for reference but I really like "The Solar House" by Daniel Chiras. Its very easy to understand and he gives you lots of references. You must calculate the size overhangs you need also so that all those south-facing windows will be shaded in the summer. I went to www.susdesign.com and they have a program you can use to figure that out. It is the coolest thing. You must know your latitude and longitude and the size windows etc. and it actually animates the sun passing over the window so you can see what it will be like.
This is Allen's version of the house that he drew some time ago. Now, he could actually build the house just from this but I told him I wanted just a little more to go on. We have one more I have not put up that shows the house from the outside but it is going to change considerably. We feel that the house should "reflect the vernacular of our area" as I once heard it put. I suppose that could bring many things to mind. It will employ some old southern methods of cooling such as a dogtrot that will also give it a retro look as well as the metal roof and lap siding.