Hillside Harmony in Oregon: Page 3 of 3

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Kathy and Tom Carstens’ southwest Oregon home
Kathy and Tom Carstens’ southwest Oregon home.
The Carstens’ home sits on a southwest-facing hillside
The Carstens’ home sits on a southwest-facing hillside in southern Oregon, a location where seasonal temperature extremes make a well-designed home a necessity.
The open floor plan ties the kitchen, dining, and living areas together.
The open floor plan ties the kitchen, dining, and living areas together.
Kathy’s kitchen
Kathy’s kitchen is a showcase of resource efficiency, including Energy Star appliances and countertops made from recycled plastic, glass, and paper.
Large, southwest-facing windows
Large, southwest-facing windows admit low-angled sunlight in the winter. Sufficiently large overhangs prevent rooms from overheating in the summer.
Deep overhangs on the home’s west side
Deep overhangs on the home’s west side shade windows from the summertime sun while still allowing for fantastic views.
3.3 KW of Isofoton modules
3.3 KW of Isofoton modules provide more than half of the Carstens‘ yearly electricity needs.
A Xantrex GT3.0 inverter
A Xantrex GT3.0 inverter ties photovoltaic power to the utility grid.
Tom and Kathy Carstens.
Tom and Kathy Carstens.
Kathy and Tom Carstens’ southwest Oregon home
The Carstens’ home sits on a southwest-facing hillside
The open floor plan ties the kitchen, dining, and living areas together.
Kathy’s kitchen
Large, southwest-facing windows
Deep overhangs on the home’s west side
3.3 KW of Isofoton modules
A Xantrex GT3.0 inverter
Tom and Kathy Carstens.

Originally, Tom thought he might need to supplement the heating system in the winter with a small EPA-certified wood heater. However, the heater is used more for aesthetics and ambiance than warmth. The heat recovery and geothermal heat pump systems effectively circulate heat through R-10-insulated ductwork. As needed, four energy-efficient, reversible ceiling fans help keep air moving and rooms comfortable.

When asked if they’d do anything differently, Kathy agrees enthusiastically with Tom: “It’s just perfect. Knowing what we know now, we can’t imagine living any other way.” 

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Kelly Davidson, associate editor for Home Power, is saving all her pennies to buy land and realize her green dream—a solar-powered, superinsulated, barn-style home built with reclaimed and recycled materials.

Alternative Energy Systems Inc.,1700 Neil Creek Rd., Ashland, OR 97520 • 541-482-1136 • PV system

Andre DeBar, DeBar Architecture, 1035 SE 9th Ave. Ste. 5, Portland, OR 97214 • 503-232-7807 • www.debardesign.com • Architect

Gary Dorris, Dorris Construction, 2209 Old Stage Rd., Central Point, OR 97502 • 541-821-4199 • www.dorrisconstruction.com • General contractor

Pacific Heating and Cooling Inc., 6090 Crater Lake Ave., Central Point, OR 97502 • 541-826-7773 • Heating & cooling system

The Solar Collection Inc., PO Box 295, Talent, OR 97540 • 541-535-5364 • Solar thermal system

Other Resources:

Earth Advantage • www.earthadvantage.com

Energy Star • www.energystar.gov

Energy Trust of Oregon • www.energytrust.org

Southface Energy Institute • www.southface.org

RE System Components:

Climatemaster • www.climatemaster.com • Heat pump

Direct Power & Water • www.power-fab.com • PV module mounts

Heliodyne • www.heliodyne.com • Flat-plate SHW collectors

Isofoton • www.isofoton.com • PV modules

Rheem • www.rheemac.com • Backup DHW

Ruud • www.ruudac.com • SHW tank & heat exchanger

Xantrex • www.xantrex.com • Inverter

Green Building Materials:

Bonded Logic • www.bondedlogic.com • Recycled-cotton insulation

Durisol Building Systems Inc. • www.durisolbuild.com • Block forms

Evergreen Roofing Inc. • www.evergreenroofinginc.com • Steel roof

Green Mountain Woodworks Inc. • www.greenmountainwoodworks.com • Madrone flooring

Loewen • www.loewen.com • Windows

Structures NW • www.structuresnw.com • Structural insulated panels

Comments (1)

zap101's picture

Mighty nice home. The 11 foot overhang roof /patio sure looks inviting. Is there much direct sun in spring an fall in spite of the overhang?

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