Winters in Jackson Hole, Wyoming can be full of opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities. The temperatures can also be challenging. In the morning we often wake up to thermometer readings below O deg. F with winds averaging 5 to 10 MPH. However, clear days with lots of sunshine make these cold days more than bearable, especially if you live in a home designed to take full advantage of the natural heat and light provided by the sun.
Such is the case with a residence listed for sale off of the Teton Village road in the Willowbrook Subdivison. The long axis of this home faces East-West with large windows on its southern exposure. This orientation allows the owners to enjoy the passive solar effects of the sun’s rays during breakfast and throughout the day. This natural heat source is supplemented by in-floor hydronic heat that is generated by a geothermal heat system.
There are many cost savings and health benefits that come from tapping the warmth below the earth’s surface. The one benefit we often forget is the absence of the noise associated with forced hot air. The air handlers and blowers required to distribute the warm air from a boiler or furnace create a background noise that is almost constant during the winter months. The absence of this noise is wonderful. It also allows you to hear the sounds of nature in a place like Jackson Hole, where coyote barks, wolf howls and elk bugles bring a smile to your face no matter how many times you hear these distinctive sounds. If you miss the sounds of the air being distributed through the house, just step outside, because there is rarely a moment during the day or night that there is not at least a mild wind blowing in Wyoming.
This home is not only quiet. It has no smells . Typical in a green oriented home, no volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) or formaldyhydes were used in its construction. Since the same attention has been paid to chocie of materials in the furniture, the interior of this home has a very “fresh” fragrance.
Although there no forced air system in this house per se, there is a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) system. It provides a constant changeover of air from the outside to inside. The system also blends the cooler outside air with the heated inside air so that you do not experience cold drafts.
The signifcant amount of windows on both north and south sides of this home bathe the interior with light that relects off of the white walls. I can’t say enough about the importance of sufficient light in the form of daylight for the health and well-being, let alone enjoyment of your home anywhere, but particularly in Jackson. If you spend much time here, you will experience cloudy and overcast days, especially in the winter months, and you will really apprciate a home like this one that has paid attention to sufficient fenestration to ensure a well lit interior.
These are the green features – passive solar, geothermal heat source, quiet, odorless, daylighting – that make a big difference in the quality of living experience in Jackson Hole. Although most of us spend as much time outdoors here as we can, the indoor atmosphere still contributes significantly toward this experience, particularly if Jackson becomes your principal residence.
Green homes come in many architectural styles. They are often contemporary, as is the case with this Willowbrook residence. However, the architect, Stephen Dynia, has introduced a rural, informal, friendly, barn-like feeling by using recycled, unpainted Wyoming wind fences intermingled with red painted siding. The land surrounding the house, with its seasonal stream and natural grasses and other vegetation, creates a feeling of walking out into a pastoral setting.
I have discussed only a few of the key green features of this residence. To learn more about this home please visit this MLS link. This residence is listed by Jennifer Kronberger, my colleague at Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information about this home or other green homes in Jackson Hole, please contact me at:
Jackson Hole Sotheby’s Int’l Realty