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The Triad House

Prescott, Arizona

This 1,500 square foot 2 bedroom house is located on a challenging site with steep slopes and large boulder outcroppings, surrounded by spectacular views. A major goal was to maintain the existing vegetation and not disturb the impressive rock formations, while at the same time creating an energy efficient house that complemented the land through a sensitive contrast with the landforms. The plan of the building was to a large extent determined both in plan and section by the locations of these features. All trees were retained and minimal damage to the site was achieved by limiting machine access.

The open plan of the ground floor visually increases the perceived size of the house making it appear larger than its actual size. The two-story plan was a conscious decision by the client to reduce the area of disturbance of the site and to capture some of the long views to San Francisco Peaks and Granite Mountain. The building has no cooling system other than nighttime stack effect – a passive cooling technique. Heating uses a high efficiency natural gas forced air heater which provides a fast response for working people returning home at the end of the day. A simple, unique shutter system allows for adjustment both summer and winter to keep the building cool in the summer and bring passive solar heat in during the winter months. The site has no sewer service, and a constructed wetland system treats all sewer water.