Facing the San Jacinto mountains, the house features a simple roof that opens to the home toward the surroundings. With temperatures in Palm Springs reaching over a stifling 120 degrees, the western exposure of the home ”has created an enormously difficult problem with solar exposure”.
Sander’s design of a fifteen-foot horizontal cantilever reduces (to practically zero) the time when the setting summer sun’s rays will penetrate the interiors; however, the cantilever is angled in such a way to allow winter sun to ”more readily enter the house to warm it when the weather turns colder.”
The building shell, conceived to employ the techniques of desert-dwellers for thermal insulation, features a multi-layer systems of shells to protect against extreme temperatures. The residence’s first shell will be created off site using (see Sander Architects’ Hybrid House concept Sander’s IPAC as reported earlier on AD).
A layer of structurally integrated panels (SIPs) will provide more insulation in addition to the micro-thin double reflective building wrap and white steel panels that deflect the sun’s rays from heat penetration. The composite R-Value of this assembly will be R-91 and with such good insulation, electric bills should be reduced to a fraction of the present costs to operate the home.