Garden Orientation

A garden-oriented house is beautiful inside and out. In a passive solar house, the south side is almost all windows that yield onto a close-up view of the outdoors; indoor and outdoor spaces merge and the outdoors comes inside. Fragrance gardens are especially lovely extensions to the kind of indoor space we design.  Sweet scents blows through the big south windows to perfume the house.


Building costs can be reduced when we annex the outdoors: out door space is dramatically cheaper to build than indoor space, and can enable the design of smaller houses. Passive solar houses with a garden orientation seem larger than they actually are.

Our houses are designed to encourage owners and visitors to GO OUTSIDE even if "gardening" is limited to natural or wild landscaping (xeriscaping) with a few containers of flowers.


We give specific instructions with our plans for connecting the house to its site in a way that makes it easy and inviting to be outdoors, and that is consistent with the house's passive solar function. The design of many American homes impedes rather than supports contact with the outdoors. Given our sedentary national habits, we need all the help we can get to lead healthier, more active outdoor lives.

We supply landscaping information specific to passive solar houses.

We supply siting and grading instructions. A garden orientation begins with perfect grading for perfect water drainage AWAY from the house. Positive drainage confers lower interior humidity which inhibits mold and mildew.

Our houses are designed to be only one step up at each entrance; they are easy to get in and out of. We intend our houses to be habitable for many lifetimes, and not places that must be abandoned by successive occupants should they become aged, ill or handicapped.

They are so beautiful, who could willingly leave them?