Whisper Creek Developers Inc.Consultant/Developer Consulting, Construction Management Development planning & California Log Homes Mt.Ski Communities

Passive Solar,Green Building, Energy Efficient


Passive Solar log homes built for a Sustainable

Green Building solutions, while integrating

inexpensive heating and cooling designs.

Passive solar / Direct gain /Passive solar designed homes.

You have noticed the heat that can build up in your car on a sunny day,

even in winter, that is solar gain.

Why not capture that heat in your home, but only in the winter,

through passive solar design?

Notice how cool shaded concrete is even on a hot summer day,

that is thermal cooling storage!

These are the simple concepts behind passive solar heating and passive

geocooling that save on energy costs, make your home more comfortable,

and are very inexpensive to incorporate into your home design.

Passive systems have no moving parts, are environmentally sustainable,

may provide tax credits, and entail no more expense in the construction

to lower utility bills with cost saving comfort. It is really that easy!

Yes of course there are certain tricks though, that make it most effective.


Think of it this way, all homes are passive solar, but most are very

inefficient and in some cases they will help you loose your heat far faster than you think.

lets think about some possibilities to make your home work better for you.


When building a log home, most people plan to own and live in them

for an extended period of time. Their log home may be a family retreat

or a retirement home that they intend to own for the rest of their lives.

Now how many times do you have to design it with solar benifits, Only once!

The turnover rate of log homes is much lower than the average

conventionally built house.

Let's look at the common sunroom as an addition for starters. 

Design and function are most efficient when the room faces directly south and has

a lot of glass windows & doors.

Dark stained concrete floors and tile absorbs more heat than liter colors.

Deciduous trees around the sunroom allow warming sunlight to get through

when the leaves are gone in the winter.

In the summer, the eves provide shade and assist in the geocooling cycle.

With such a long term outlook, the decision to build green and live in a

energy efficient home is smart.

Passive solar or direct gain design combine  with a well insulated structure makes

good sense for the health of the environment and a families future, green built homes.

The earth is heating up, why not capture heat that is already here! 


We are proud to construct our green built log homes with reclamed forest products.

Our exterior and structural timbers are from reclaimed “dead stand” trees.

These damaged forest areas have perished due to fire, or by other natural causes.

In our northern hemisphere, the sun is lower on the southern horizon in

the winter and higher above in the summer.



In California, Nevada and Utah, for example, a two-foot eave on the southern

side of a ranch-style log home will shade the floor inside in summer and allow the

sun to radiate warmth through the southern glass windows or doors to the floor in the winter. 

Providing the floor with thermal mass that has dark color, will best absorb heat from the winter sun. 

An insulated concrete slab,  will store heat most efficently.

In the summer, the shaded 55-degree ground temperature will help keep your home cool.


This sunroom for example performs very well summer and winter,

by utilizing a lexan, polycarbonate insulated roof system, and retractable shade cloths,

opening the room up and letting a breeze through keeps it cool in summer.

in winter months, the solar energy stored in the concrete slab helps keeps the interior warm at night. 

During winter, on sunny days where the temps do not rise above 24 degrees, the solar room heats up by an average of 50 Degrees warmer inside so that I can enjoy temps of 75 to 80 degrees inside temps! I love my houses proformance!

This room is used to heat the rest of my home in afternoons.

Temp controled fans turn on and blow the warm air in.

I love passive solar heating!



Direct Gain / Passive solar.                   

Passive solar design refers to design and material choices that use

and or avoid the sun's heat to promote thermal comfort and energy

conservation to reduce the need for costly mechanical heating, cooling,

and ventilation systems. It is the traditional method used throughout the

world to cost effectively increase comfort.

Passive Solar Heating does not require solar panels.


The primary elements required are south facing glass and a

thermal mass to absorb, store, and distribute heat.


The easiest and least expensive approach to solar is a passive system-- direct gain.

The goal of all passive solar heating systems is to capture the winter sun' heat

within the building and release that heat during periods when the sun is not shining.


 In this direct gain system, the actual living space of your house

becomes a solar collector where heat is absorbed and distributed

through a simple system.

South-facing glass admits solar energy into the house where it directly

and indirectly strikes thermal mass materials, such as masonry floors, a stone hearth,

Rammed Earth walls & fireplace and walls.

These Rammed earth walls are 18" thick providing a large thermal mass.

The direct gain system utilizes 60 - 75 percent of the sun's

energy striking the windows.

With our Log Homes we offer gable and eve window feature walls that

help provide this solar gain potential! In addition, our gable-end overhangs

extend out 4 feet as a standard to offer shade from the summer heat.  


Advantages from building with pre-built 1/2  log homes system;

Less Cracking
Our logs are carefully selected to contain less than 19% moisture content -

the most significant cause of cracking and warping.

Sealed Tight From the Elements
High quality chinking between the log siding, conventional R24+ blown insulation,

and an interior vapor barrier ensure that only invited guests make it into your

temperature-controlled home.

We employ highly skilled craftsmen at reasonable labor rates. 

Lumber costs tend to be much more stable where where we run our

sustainable timber harvest program.

No Settling
Our framed wall sections, unique fastening systems, and center-beam construction,

eliminate settling.

System Built Quality Control
Quality and craftsmanship is carefully monitored in our state of the art 55000 sq. ft.

ICC HUD certified building facility.

Building Green makes sense Today!

Passive solar construction is built into the design of

your home, so why not think about it before you

start your design process?



Norm Clover, a Northern California, Utah, Nevada Log Home Dealer/

energy afficient building developer and Contractor, has extensive

experience building a variety of solar energy efficient and environmentally

friendly green homes including:

Rammed Earth homes in Sonoma County's wine country;  Straw Bale homes;

and SIP Panel high insulated passive solar homes. We have been incorporating

passive solar into all of these home designs.  



Below is an example of a SIP Panel passive solar assisted

home in Park city Utah .

This home with gains 6 degrees daily on sunny days with the freezing external temperatures.

The night heat loss is less than 1 degree / hour.

This home was designed and built by Grizzly Log Builders.

The siding on this home is Hardie Board, fire resistant material. 

Grizzlylogbuilders is now offering this material as an alternitive

to the exterior 1/2 log and 12"timber siding for all models.

Contact us for your passive solar home kit!




How many times are you going to build your get away cabin or familys gathering place?


With energy costs on the rise and no end is sight, it makes good

economic sense to design passive solar and build with conservation in mind.

There is a great deal of documented evidence supporting the energy

efficiency related to the construction of panelized prebuilt and

insulated log homes.

Studies conducted by the National Institute of Standards and

Technology (NIST) and other testing organizations have compared panelized

insulated log homes to other types of construction such as stacked log homes

 and masonry homes. Test results prove the energy efficiency of well insulated walls reduce the heat transfer of the available energy in both

summer cooling and winter heating.








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