Matrix IMA of California, Inc.
Architects & Designers
IMA - Forensic Architecture modern-exterior

IMA - Forensic Architecture

Project : Mackinlay Solar House* Client: Ian Mackinlay Location: Tahoe City, California Recognition: Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation Energy Conservation Award, Sunset Western Homes Award Challenge Design an energy-efficient vacation home for year-round use on a south-sloping site overlooking Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada, at an elevation of 6,400 feet. The residence had to fit comfortably in its alpine environment, both physically and aesthetically; draw most of its energy from the sun; provide easy living; and require little maintenance. Solution A simple, strong, boxlike structure of wood-frame construction partially buried in the north side of its sloping site. The roof is flat and well insulated, shielding the living space from the hot summer sun. The architect designed and built solar collector panels, which were not commercially available at the time, to completely cover the walls of the south, southeast, and southwest façades. The heat these panels collect is stored in a 4,000-gallon insulated tank in the basement; the tank maintains an average temperature of 105 degrees in midwinter. Walls not receiving direct sunlight are sheathed in cedar shingles. Result A comfortable, 2,500-square-foot home that relies almost entirely on solar energy for its space and water heating needs throughout the year. In the summer, the house needs no mechanical air conditioning, and in the winter, there are no worries about snow buildup on the structure because the wind strips excess snow off the flat roof while maintaining enough snow cover to provide additional roof insulation. Even in midwinter, this award-winning house affords private, sheltered sunbathing on the large deck that adjoins the house to the east. The deck accepts maximum sunlight during the warmest parts of the winter day without shadowing the solar walls. The lower deck contains a solar-heated hot tub. *Under the direction of Ian Mackinlay (principal in charge). Architect of record: MWM Architects Inc. of

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