Build Your Own Home

Natural Home launches energy-efficient house designs.

| September/October 2009

  • This digital illustration shows the completed Solar Prairie Home.
    Illustration By Nathan Kipnis
  • This digital illustration shows the completed Solar Prairie Home.
    Illustration By buildingscience.com/Nate Skow
  • This digital illustration shows the completed Solar Prairie Home.
    Illustration By Nathan Kipnis
  • This digital illustration shows the completed Solar Prairie Home.
    Illustration By Nathan Kipnis
  • This digital illustration shows the completed Solar Prairie Home.
    Illustration By Nathan Kipnis

Natural Home is pleased to launch Super-Efficient Home Plans. Partnering with sustainable lifestyle guide (and our sister magazine) Mother Earth News, we’re working with leading architects to offer customizable, build-your-own-home plans that are certified to be 50 percent more energy-efficient than the International Residential Building Code. Each design will be analyzed using EnergyPlus software to ensure it meets that goal.

You can save big in three ways if you build a home using one of our designs. First, all designs use materials efficiently to keep construction costs as low as possible. Second, the homes’ energy-efficient features will save 50 percent or more every year on utility costs. And finally, you’ll easily save $10,000 to $20,000 or more in architects’ fees. We’re offering construction blueprints for $2,000 to $3,000—a fraction of what you would normally pay for a custom design. (Our architects can adapt the design to your site or circumstances for an additional fee.)

Our first design, a 2,600-square-foot, two-story Prairie Home, is by architect Nathan Kipnis, who designed one of our award-winning Homes of the Decade. Next up will be a farmhouse by Solar Pioneer award-winner David Wright. Check back as we add more energy-efficient home study plans approved by Natural Home editors.

A prairie-style home

After World War II, energy-intensive heating and cooling systems let designers ignore climate; buildings could be the same from Orlando to Anchorage. But these designs aren’t sustainable. Today, regional architecture is experiencing a renaissance, creating efficient, eco-conscious homes such as the Solar Prairie Home.

The traditional Prairie home style has its roots in the Midwest. At about 2,600 square feet, this home is functional while minimizing construction materials and conditioned spaces. The home is efficient and comfortable in its climate year-round, thanks to optimum passive solar design, natural ventilation, a superinsulated shell and high-performance windows.

Want to learn more?

Our $15 study plan package offers a closer look at the Solar Prairie Home created by Nathan Kipnis Architects of Evanston, Illinois. The plans provide detailed information on this copyrighted design, including:

• Elevation drawings
• Floor plans
• Detailed descriptions of design features

After examining the kit, you can order construction blueprints, which can be modified. To order a study plan, call (800) 340-5846 and ask for item No. 4227 or buy online now!





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