A Passive Solar Home Built Into the Hillside Asks $610K in Northern California.
Designed in 1980, the partially sunken Sunburst Residence keeps a low profile—and a low carbon footprint.
In Applegate, California, halfway between Sacramento and the mountains of Lake Tahoe, a passive solar home known as the Sunburst Residence emerges from the trees. Built in 1980 by SeaGroup architects David Wright and Dennis Andrejko for an older couple on the cusp of retirement, the wood-clad house is low impact and environmentally conscious.
“Because there is no central heating or cooling, the home was built into the hillside to take advantage of natural temperature control,” says Jasmine Eaton, the current homeowner. “Couple that with the slanted roof to encourage airflow through the many windows and skylights, and we have little need for AC in the summer—even in the Sierra Nevada foothills.”
Measuring over 1,600 square feet, the dwelling spreads across two levels with the primary living spaces on the first floor. Caramel-toned wood paneling spans the ceiling, capping the connected kitchen, dining, and living areas. Windows and glass doors line the south-facing wall, illuminating the floor with ample natural light while blending the lines between inside and out.
Earthships can be permitted and built in California. Any off-grid, sustainable building can be permitted and built in California. All buildings must adhere to the California state building, health and environmental codes.
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