'Holistic' Solar House Open to View in Rancho California

Designer-builder John Stebbins' innovative "holistic house," in which every aspect of modern energy-conservation techniques and equipment are used in every portion of the structure, is open for touring every weekend in the Meadowview section of Rancho California.

Stebbins calls it the "Meadowview Model Energy-Efficient Home" and said it was designed "to demonstrate to the public that it is timely and cost-effective to 'put it all together' and integrate a variety of solar and energy-efficient strategies into a contemporary home."

Among the features of the home are passive solar heating techniques including overhangs, south-facing glass, and tile floors and concrete walls to store heat. Cooling is done naturally with ventilation and air-circulation systems to take advantage of prevailing breezes. The ducting system is based on a series of connected hollow cells cast in the concrete floor slab, making what he calls an "air floor."

Photovoltaic cells, which make electricity directly from the sun's rays, are part of the home, as are low-wattage light bulbs, a passive solar water heter, solar water purifier, water-saving toilets and landscaping of low-maintenance native California plants.

The home is being shown through the courtesy of its owner, Omar White, for whom it was built by Stebbins. The designer says it could be duplicated on another lot for about $100,000. He is hoping to build similar houses on owners' lots and also to find investors to join in constructing a subdivision of such homes, or land owners to joint-venture subdivisions or clusters of homes.

The Meadowview home will be open on weekends through September from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 29981 Los Nogales Road, off Interstate 15 via Winchester Road north of Temecula. Details may be obtained from Stebbins' firm, Fine Homes Unlimited, at 512 Mystic Way, Laguna Beach.

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