The Kayser Residence is a 1200 square foot house located in Ramona, California. Still within the County of San Diego, Ramona is within Climate Zone 10, where temperatures throughout the year range between 37 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the great things about the project was that my client, and project’s owner, was all-in in regards to being energy efficient.
The house was designed to maximize passive heating and cooling by placing the rectangular structure with it’s long side on a East-West orientation. Maximizing fenestration to the South, and minimizing North-facing windows.
The roof overhang on the south side of the house blocks the sun in the Summer, to prevent overheating. However, in the Winter, the sun reaches and passively heats the interior space. This reduces the need for mechanically heating and cooling the space.
As seen above, the slim aspect of the structure also facilitates natural ventilation. Windows on the south-west side of the building can be opened whenever the outside temperature is lower than the interior. As the air heats, it rises and leaves through high windows on the opposite side of the room.
In addition to operable windows, the house is ventilated with an Earth Tube system. The air intake is located at the end of a pipe, away from the house. The tube then runs between 100 and 300 feet in the ground, at a depth of about 6 feet. This run helps the air acclimatize to a moderate temperature similar to the ground that surrounds it. This temperature is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The system runs with a small fan, powered by the sun. The Earth Tube pre-heats or pre-cools the air, depending on the season, saving plenty of energy at the same time.
Another energy-saving technology used in this house was the solar water heater. Water is heated directly by the sun’s heat, then stored in an insulated (80 gallon) tank.
With the combination of good design and smart technologies, even without the implementation of solar photovoltaic panels, the house is 42.8% more energy efficient than the standard!
Below is a sample of the Title-24 calculations that were part of the approved Construction Documents set:
The owner had many plans for this house, one of them was installing solar panels in the future. However, with the house being so energy efficient already, I’m pretty sure that energy generation is not a top priority. What a difference smart design makes!