The site is a relatively flat and open residential subdivision lot, approximately 900 feet above sea level.


Continental in character, the climate exhibits a marked seasonal contrast in both temperature and precipitation. During the winter months, precipitation, mostly snowfall, is about 20% of the annual amount. By summer, southerly winds provide humid air from the Gulf of Mexico causing rainfall mainly in the form of showers and thunderstorms, often accompanied by hail or damaging winds. This precipitation is nearly 60% of the annual amount. The fall harvesting season is a period of diminishing rain with ample sunshine.

• Winter: cold and dry, interrupted by occasional storms of short duration followed by occasional cold waves, temperatures average in the low 20's

• Summer: relatively comfortable, temperatures average in the low 70's


A builder commissioned this house as a speculative project. A significant design factor for this climate region is the proportion of space and surface areas above and below grade. Generally as the climate gets colder, the depth of the mean earth temperature increases and the potential for heat flow or heat loss to the outside increases. Therefore, it is necessary and traditionally practical to set a portion of the house into the ground to provide sufficient surface area of earth mass at mean temperature and to reduce the exterior surface area above grade. For this particular design, it is necessary to set the first floor level 3 feet below grade. Location of the garage on the east or west as in this design helps to buffer the extremes of climate conditions.

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Interior Solarium Total Sq Ft
1862 456 2318