The FOUNTAIN GREEN RANCH will sit high on a mountain on a 3,000 acre farm in central Utah. This region has a cold, high-desert climate with prolonged winter freezing periods. The design goal is to mimick a style we call "Utah-Barn", buildings which are typically large, metal roofed, utilitarian structures of heavy timber and stone. Roofs are simply shaped, with a minimum of dormers or valleys, and are structured to carry the heavy winter snow loads that are typical of the region.

This year-around vacation home will sit on a high plateau, surrounded by mountains, facing due south toward a valley. This is definitely not the shores of Gitche Gumee or the inland lakes of the Boundary Waters, but the design principals we hold true, still very much apply.

The First Floor will be elevated above the desert floor on a stone, partially exposed, basement "base". The Lower Level "base" will include a large garage, with an entry connected to the main entrance Portico.

The First Floor Great Room will be timber-framed, using a "hammer-beam roof truss". Adjacent will be a Sunroom, Dining area, Kitchen, Master Bedroom and Guest Bedroom suits. Stone paved exterior Terraces are accessible to each of the rooms. Two additional Guest Bedrooms and Bath are on the second floor Loft. The gross finished living area is just over 4,000 square feet.

This "occasionally-used" vacation home will be heated with LP gas and wood, with an unusual approach in which each major space will have a stand-alone, heating system - high efficiency fireplaces and stoves, not furnaces. Guest spaces will each have a wall thermostat controlled fireplace or stove, and when they are not occupied the heat will simply be turned off. The Great Room will use two "thermal-mass", radiant heating, high-efficiency masonry fireplaces. One, at the far end of the Living area will be wood fired, the second, next to the Dining area, will be an LP gas fired, wall thermostat controlled, whole house back-up system. An exterior "rumford" wood burning fireplace will provide heat on the Terrace for cool evenings. Power for energy-efficient lighting and appliances will be provided by a solar electric system with a back-up LP generator.

Click here to view the FOUNTAIN GREEN RANCH floor plans.



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Paul A. Meier