The majority of solar home
plans include several different types of solar collection units, and
many of the plans available also include other forms of renewable
energy as well, such as wind turbines. Any good solar home plan should
at least make use of photovoltaic solar panels, solar thermal energy,
and passive solar collection.
to Find Good Solar House Plans
The first step when
looking for solar home blueprints is to know what size and type of
house you wish to build. Many companies offer pre-made plans, or you
can work with an architect to customize your home any way you wish.
Once you know about the style and size of the house, then you can start
searching for blueprints. The best place to do this is online, as there
are literally hundreds of companies offering their plans for
Almost every one of these
companies claims to have the best plans available, but of course they
all can’t be telling the truth. So the question is: how do you discern
which plans are worthwhile and which sets of plans should be thrown on
the scrap heap?
The first thing you should
look for is to see
if you can find real reviews of the particular plans you’re considering
purchasing. If you can find satisfied
customers, then there’s a good chance the plans will be sufficient at
Another important thing to
look at is how much
the home is able to generate itself. There are some plans
supposedly truly green, zero energy homes, while others have an energy
efficiency percentage in the 50 to 60 percent range, which is still
quite impressive depending on the size of the home.
It’s also necessary to
look at what sorts of
solar energy are utilized by the home, as a good
set of blueprints with undoubtedly take advantage of the sun’s energy
in as many different ways as possible. It’s necessary to make sure your
home will utilize passive
solar energy, solar thermal energy for
heating your home and water, and also have an array of photovoltaic
solar panels installed on the roof.
Best Places to Find Solar
If you simply search
online, you’ll come up with thousands of pages offering solar home
blueprints for sale, and it could take weeks to sort through all of
them to find the few whose plans are well-rated and reviewed. Luckily
the hard work for you, so listed below are our reviews to
some of the best
websites for finding solar home plans.
Sun Plans is one of the
leaders in solar house plans, and they offer a large selection of
pre-designed solar home plans. They also give you the option to work
alongside an architect and completely design your own
solar home from
the ground up. However, this requires at least six months of working
time before you wish to start building. If this doesn’t work for you,
then you can also work with Sun Plans to customize and adapt
one of their existing plans to fit your needs and taste.
Their website is also very
easy to use, and you can search through their entire selection of
plans. It’s also possible to sort the plans by a number of different
factors, including square footage, width, and length, which direction
the entry faces, and even the complexity of the plans. Sun Plans allows
you to purchase several different blueprint options, from a study print
to help you choose the correct house, to a full set of construction
prints, or even the CAD
files so you can have a local architect modify
the plans to fit your needs.
The basic study print
costs $80, while a full six sets of construction plans runs around
$1200 and the CAD files are about $1550. Overall, you can’t go wrong
with Sun Plans, and you should be able to find a set of plans to fit
any need and budget on their website.
Sun Plans’ home designs
are designed to as a minimum meet Energy
Star standards. Most clients choose to go way beyond
Energy Star to meet the Passivhaus or Net Zero standards. (A local Home Energy Rater is
required to rate the plan based on the local climate then test the home
prior to issuing certification.)
One of the most
interesting books on solar plans is now available online. This book
comes from a contest sponsored by the United States’ Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and contains 91 plans for passive
solar homes. This contest took place in 1982, but that doesn’t mean
that these plans are not still worthwhile.
The only drawback is that
these are not full sets of plans, but rather more a few technical
drawings and concepts. This site is perfect for those who are looking
for different ideas for designing a DIY solar
The House Designers offer
the only plans in the world to have received Energy Star Certification.
This means that these plans are quite high-quality and produce very
efficient, self-sustaining homes. The House Designers offers over 800
plans in a wide range of styles and sizes.
The plans are searchable
by type of dwelling, such as bungalow, cottage, log cabin, Tuscan,
southwest, Mediterranean, and many more. You can also search by
architectural floor plan type and many other criteria, including size,
number of bedrooms, and more. These plans are also quite cheap, with an
eight set of full prints costing $665, a reproducible set of plans
costs $800, and the CAD files cost $1400.
You can be guaranteed you
will find a set of plans that is completely to your liking on this
site, and you can also be comfortable knowing that The House Designers
plans are the only ones to ever receive the Energy Star Certification.
With these plans, you’ll be able to build a very efficient solar home
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