Quinn Creek

Passive Solar Home on a Mountain Top

A Passive Solar Mountain Home

Nestled into a rugged mountain top near Bozeman, Montana, the Quinn Creek Home is a passive solar, sustainable dwelling with a mountain modern style. At 2500 square feet plus a garage, the home features a master bedroom suite, an open living room, dining room, & kitchen, two guest/multi-purpose rooms, an office, and an open exercise area. Stunning views of the Absaroka, Gallatin, and Crazy Mountain ranges abound from almost every room. Just like the ephemeral qualities of nature, the experience of living in a passive solar home changes from day to day, season to season.

Warm in the Winter,
Cool in the Summer

Experience comfort and energy efficiency through passive solar design, appropriate roof overhangs, a hyper-insulated building envelope, and strategically designed operable windows.

Designed to last,
Tough against the elements

Durable, long-lasting materials mean minimal maintenance, reduced upkeep costs, and more time to relax. Create peace of mind in an extreme mountain environment.

Energy Efficiency & Sustainability

Built with high performance walls and roofs resulting in a hyper-insulated and tightly sealed home, Quinn Creek is designed to stay efficiently comfortable throughout the seasons. “Sun Smart Heating,” a combined heating approach of passive solar and radiant hydronic floor heating, produces consistent warmth in all spaces, even on cold and cloudy days. During the warmer months, carefully designed roof overhangs and awnings prevent unwanted solar heat gain and passive ventilation strategies create a cooling air flow. The windows used for both passive solar heating and passive cooling, provide beautiful views and connect the inhabitants to restorative qualities of the outdoors.

Passive Solar Designed

The Quinn Creek site faces great views and to the south, a perfect set up for Passive Solar direct gain heating.

“Sun Smart Heating”

With “Sun Smart Heating,” the sun’s natural heat is passively collected and actively distributed throughout the home. During long stretches of cloudy days or extreme cold, the hydronic radiant floor heating system efficiently produces heat. This method relieves any worries homeowners may have about living in a home heated with passive solar alone.

Natural Lighting

Pets need sunlight and warmth, too! Natural light save electricity costs and creates a bright and uplifting environment. There are many different natural light sharing methods throughout the home including a translucent polycarbonate interior door. Why bring ample natural light into a home if it is blocked out of certain spaces?

Client Specific

Our clients are avid book collectors and specifically requested lots of space for their many books. We custom-designed wall of bookshelves in the main living space.

Efficient hot water

While a conventional storage water heater keeps water unnecessarily water hot 24/7 experiencing energy-consumptive “stand-by losses,” a tankless on-demand hot water heater efficiently produces hot water as it is needed. In a smaller household with no bathtub, an on-demand water heater is an excellent option for use in showers, doing dishes, laundry, and a radiant hydronic floor heating system.

Environmental Design

The environmental conditions of the site and its surroundings influenced the home design. Positive conditions such as beautiful vistas, passive solar exposure, cool summer breezes are utilized to benefit the home. Negative conditions are minimized. The encompassing mountain slopes were carefully analyzed and integrated into the home design and roof pitches. Exterior material colors were chosen to help the home compliment its environment during the changing seasons.

Awnings filter heat gain

The south-side polycarbonate awnings are specifically designed to reduce unwanted heat gain during the warmers months, yet allow filtered sunlight to illuminate the home. Filtered light is filtered radiation.

Construction Process

The builders and specialists in conjunction with a buildable design made Quinn Creek a reality considering the remote location, crazy weather, and short building season. Visit our blog to learn more about the construction process.

Design Process

Every project has different objectives, parameters, and challenges. The extreme site conditions including a steep hillside, presence of ledge, restrictive setbacks, and alpine weather strongly influenced the design and construction for the Quinn Creek Home. The following slide show outlines our design process and the different design and construction phases specific to this project. The parameters will likely be different for your project, but what remains the same is our team’s commitment to guide and support you throughout the entire process, from the initial design meetings until the day you move in.


A picture is worth a thousand words

The homeowner occasionally sends us these beautiful and inspiring photos of her home. Needless to say, she loves where she lives.

Designer – Greenovision    General Contractor – CWJ & Associates    Surveyor – Caddis Engineering