Neos House

Neos House

The Neos house is a 4 bedroom family house. 2614 square feet. Completed in spring 2021.

Designed as a multi-generational home with one full bathroom & one full bedroom on the 1st floor, if the piano-room & the rec-room were enclosed with walls we’d have a 7-bedroom home. Enough for a substantial family to live together.

Pointing south, the view looks towards the huge garden.

The garden spills into the dining area through sliding doors. The folks who commissioned this home are gardeners, with kids, who will be drawn towards the natural world as a way to thrive.

The weather briefly nips at you as you walk from the front door to the garage under the covered walkway, creating a connection with the day’s weather and the world outside the energy-shell.

The SIPs installation was subcontracted because this is a Bellevue job & the TC crew have northern families & want to be home at night if possible. Issac taught a Peruvian framing crew how to sling the SIPs and the job ran fast & smoothly using advanced SIPs details required by the Bellevue jurisdiction.

Despite one design mistake (the mechanicals are in the unheated garage), this house is an exercise in textbook design for cost & energy performance.

The client did a stellar job of following design advice & the crew lovingly built the house, sealing the envelope to 0.6 air changes per hour, Passivehaus standard. The result is an economical house that has won a Department of Energy Grand Prize, attained 5-star Build Green certification and is certified Net Zero.

The envelope & mechanical systems are all drawn from the 2020 TC system: 6.5” walls, 10.25” SIP roof, 4” R20 foam under the slab, R24 ICF’s, Chilltrix CX34 heatpump with (1) fancoil upstairs, Zehnder 350 HRV with comfopost heat/ cool delivery. Vinyltek triple pane windows & Thermatru front door.

All the stormwater from the roof is infiltrated back into the onsite soils via a huge infiltration trench. Additionally, the excavation soils all remained onsite to reduce soils trucking. The clients took responsibility for seeding the exposed construction soils, choosing to plant a complex cover crop in place of the usual grass. The cover crop can be tilled back into the soils to impart nitrogen & other nutrients when a new planting regime is decided upon.

The house in a garden is a traditional family way of life and TC is proud to have built a modern, dense & flexible version of this ideal, updated to make all its own power to address the demands of the climate-change world.

Saint Claire Powerhouse

Saint Claire Powerhouse

This 1,900 square-foot 3 bedroom clerestory home, with an additional 672-square-foot attached garage located outside the SIPs shell, was built in 2016 in western Washington.

Because the master bedroom and bathroom were required to be located on the first floor, the clerestory design allowed us to locate two additional bedrooms and a bath on a minimal second floor, while leaving the glorious and spacious SIPs vaulted ceiling within the main living & kitchen spaces.

The play of light from the second-floor clerestory windows penetrates deeply into the main living spaces, eliminating glare at the large south windows and providing unusually even and dynamic day-lighting within the kitchen and living room. The occupants feel connected to the sweep of the sun, clouds, and weather patterns outside.

This is a near-perfect lot for a solar-panel net-zero home, identified by the clear solar exposure to the south, with no trees or buildings between the building and the sun.

 

SPECS/FEATURES

  • Department of Energy Net-Zero certified
  • Chilltrix CX34 air-to-water heat pump
  • 100% on-site storm water infiltration via 30-foot dispersion trench
  • 10.8 kW of solar panel installed
  • 6.5” R-29 SIPs walls
  • 10.25” R-49 SIPs roof
  • 4” R-20 foam under 4” concrete slab-on-grade for thermal mass
  • 5.5” foam (total) R-23.8 insulated concrete form (ICF) perimeter stem walls
  • Vinyltek Boreal series triple-pane windows (U values from 0.14 to 0.16)
  • 1:1.6 aspect ratio floor plan, with the long side facing south
  • Minimal east and west glazing

Worrell

Worrell

This 1,340 square-foot single-story, south-facing rural home was built for a professional couple in western Washington in 2018. It features an additional 576-square-foot attached garage to the north. The unheated garage, which sits outside the SIPs shell, is stick framed to reduce building and energy costs.

The home’s two offices are permitted as legal bedrooms, so it’s really a three-bedroom, two-bath net-zero rambler with a huge south-facing roof that has space for enough solar panels to power two electric cars and run the house.

Specifications

  • Department of Energy Net-Zero certified
  • Fujistu 9RL minisplit heat pump
  • 100% on-site storm water infiltration via 40-foot dispersion trench
  • 70 trees and 160 shrubs were planted that will grow a forest on site
  • 10.8 kW of solar panels installed
  • 6.5” R-29 SIPs walls
  • 10.25” R-49 SIPs roof
  • 4” R-20 foam under 4” concrete slab-on-grade for thermal mass
  • 5.5” foam (total) R-23.8 insulated concrete form perimeter stem walls
  • Vinylek Boreal series triple-pane windows (U values of 0.14 to 0.16)
  • 1:1.6 aspect ratio floor plan, with the long side facing south
  • Minimal east and west glazing

 

Trax

Trax

This 2,540 square-foot clerestory (one-and-a-half story) family house has an integrated, differently heat-zoned 1,040-square-foot garage and woodshop sitting within the SIPs shell. It was built in 2020 in western Washington.

A rigorous passive-solar window design uses the majority south-facing glazing for wintertime heating, shaded in summer by a shallow south porch and accurate south clerestory overhang. Multi-direction daylight penetrates and reflects deep into the connected main living space and second-floor balcony via the high second-floor clerestory glazing. 

Multiple cutting-edge HVAC and home-automation systems integrate to deliver low-cost air-to-water heat pump-based central heating, cooling, and fresh-air delivery, triggered via automatic carbon-dioxide and humidity sensors. Alexa-driven automated lighting and blinds are installed, a home-automation system that will expand in its capabilities as more options become available.

The clients’ requirement for a spacious first-floor master suite led us to design a smaller second floor in relation to the first. The clerestory design accommodates this layout by producing a daylight-rich one-and-a-half-story house.

Specifications

  • U.S. Department of Energy Net-Zero certified
  • Chilltrix CX34 air-to-water heat pump
  • Zehnder 550Q heat recovery ventilator (HRV), with in-line fan coil from Chilltrix
  • Development dedicated 1 acre of pastureland to a perpetual conservation easement, ensuring growth of native species
  • 12.4 kW of solar panels installed
  • 6.5” R-29 SIPs walls
  • 12.25” R-59 SIPs roof
  • 4” R-20 foam under 4” concrete slab-on-grade for excellent thermal mass
  • 5.5” foam (total) R-23.8 insulated concrete forms (ICF) perimeter stem-walls
  • Vinylek Boreal series triple-pane windows (U values between 0.14 and 0.16)
  • 1:1.6 aspect ratio floor plan, with long side facing south
  • Minimal east and west glazing

 

Columbia City

Columbia City

These two 2,250-square-foot, three-story family houses were built adjacent to each other, without garages, on a single lot in Columbia City, Seattle. The design preserved enough space for two spacious gardens.

This perfect urban lot has great southern exposure for passive and active solar gain. The small 25′ by 30′ footprints raised a surprising amount of internal space, but achieving net-zero performance, even with super-insulated SIPs panels, necessitated an enlarged south roof to house the required solar panels. We designed huge, cranked south roofs. This was a first for TC Legend, but they are now standard, architecturally a truly modem aesthetic response to the climate crisis.

The five-bedroom houses are planned to maximize common spaces and contain one un-programmed loft/rec-room space on each floor: space for a drum kit, a wine bar, a sewing room, or another TV room. Additionally the first floor has a big mud room to house bikes and camping gear and function as the storage space that a suburban house would normally have in the garage, which we eliminated in favor of gardens and uncovered off-street parking.

Specifications

  • Department of Energy Net-Zero certified
  • Chilltrix CX30 air-to-water heat pump
  • 100% storm-water infiltrated on site via two infiltration pits
  • 12.4 kW solar panels installed
  • 6.5” R-29 SIPs walls
  • 10.25” R-59 SIPs roof
  • 4” R-20 foam under 4” concrete slab-on-grade for thermal mass
  • 5.5” foam (total) R-23.8 insulated concrete forms (ICF) perimeter stem walls
  • Plygem triple-pane windows (U values between 0.21 and 0.24)