Allegretti Architects Santa Fe, New Mexico
Thin Air Ranch is a 2200 square foot passive solar home located on a rural property south of Santa Fe. In addition to designing the home, the architect personally hand crafted all phases of construction.
The terrain at this very open site permits 360 degree views taking in six mountain ranges. Gusty winds and powerful sunshine fill this open environment. The design responds by incorporating strong passive solar orientation and by sheltering a patio between house and garage. A great room forty feet by thirty feet contains entry, living room, dining room, kitchen, and sun-room. Thus, the home assumes a spacious feeling despite its compact size.
Some unusual finish materials are used. Exterior stucco is applied as interior wall finishes in some areas. Adobe slab floors help with passive solar heating while providing soft resilience underfoot.
Thin Air Ranch incorporates the following features of sustainable architecture:
- A strong passive solar orientation supplies much of the home’s space-heating needs.
- Much of the lumber used for construction was reclaimed and recycled from local sources.
- Xeriscape landscape materials reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation.
- The home is plumbed for grey-water recycling. Roof runoff is collected for landscape irrigation.
- LED lighting reduces electrical consumption.
- Heavy insulation at walls and roof conserve energy. A small wood stove lends supplemental heat.
A small telescope observatory with a rotating dome indulges the owner’s passion for the stunning night skies at 7,000 feet above sea level.