When Ed and Leigh and set out to build Eastwatch they had three goals in mind: efficiency, endurance, and functionality.
Eastwatch is a solar augmented house. A structure that passively offsets heating costs while maximizing mountain views. Passive solar heat gain accounts for 75% of the home’s heating needs. At 8,200ft above sea level in climate zone five, the high temperature hovers around freezing throughout the winter. During winter conditions, the hydronic in-floor heating is used less than six hours each night. The heat engine of the home is a southeasterly window wall paired with a thermal mass wall. The exposed concrete floor and mass wall provide 90 tons of thermal mass. During the summer, the high ceilings carry hot air up and out of the house.
With many decades ahead of them, the house also needed to accommodate their changing needs as they age. This meant no stairs, ADA compliant doors, and hallways. The structure itself also needed to last well into the future. The house’s location in the rocky mountain high county created additional structural demands. To resist the strain of 100mph+ winds and yards of snow, a steel post and beam system support the roof. To mitigate the ever-present wildfire danger, the exterior material palette is steel, masonry and glass, Class A fire rated TPO roofing, and Ipe decking.
Ed and Leigh have always believed that form must follow function. This belief set the tone for the home. The floor-to-ceiling windows and brick wall passively heat the home. The kitchen island separates cooking from baking and guests from hosts. Long roof overhangs protect the house from snow and block the high summer sun. The structure's simple geometric shapes respect the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape as does the muted palette of the interior.