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An energy-efficient mountain house designed to last

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The custom home has stunning views too

Timber facade with slanted roof. Jason Buss

When building new house for a couple in Golden, Colorado, architecture studio F9 Productions had one question in mind: How can it create a design-forward residence that’s also energy efficient? The two things are not mutually exclusive, of course. Plenty of homes use energy considerations to not only lower the cost of living, but to drive the design itself.

In the case of the Eastwatch House, F9 found itself working with some interesting tensions. The house sits at 8,900 feet elevation, on a hill that’s nestled into the Rocky Mountains. The site gets lots of sunlight, but it’s also prey to freezing temperatures during the wintertime. To bolster the home’s energy efficiency, the architects equipped the flat, slanted roof with solar panels and built a southeastern-facing window that captures lots of natural sunlight.

Open plan room featuring kitchen and living room. Jason Buss

Inside, masonry thermal masses in the walls, slab concrete floors, and a brick wall between the window and interior all ensure the house retains as much heat as possible. And according to the architects, in the summer, the sloped ceilings allow air to flow out of the house through awning windows.

Energy performance aside, the owners also wanted a home with a timeless look and functionality. That’s why the house has no stairs and features ADA compliant doors and hallways, ready for aging in place. And outfitted in neutrals, including tons of light wood, the home feels right at home with the stunning mountain scenes right outside the expansive windows.

Bedroom surrounded by large windows. Jason Buss
Interior hallway clad in brick and glass. Jason Buss
Exterior of house on top of hill. Jason Buss