ROSE Cottage Project – Outdoor Living Spaces

Three Season Porch & Outdoor Deck

Outdoor living spaces are high value items for both family and empty nester homeowners.  A well-conceived outdoor living space does exactly that…..extends the usable living space at a fraction of the cost of conditioned living space.  The three season porch is completely insulated (floor included) and can be heated on-demand using a simple 10’ Runtal radiant electric baseboard heater. The design allows for the space to be comfortably utilized during fall/winter (Thanksgiving & Christmas) holiday periods, while also being able to be closed-off with no heat source at all when not in use.  The insulated space, which does pick-up some solar gain in the winter, also buffers the external temperature exposure on the large triple pane 8’x12’ NanaWall (fold and slide) door that connects the dining area to the three season room, thereby saving energy.

The 20'x20' outdoor deck area that connects the 16'x14' three season porch to the outdoor 20'x14' covered spa/deck area has a Solara™12'x18' long power operated extension awning that, when fully extended, places the drip line out closer to the outside CertainTeed Oxford deck railing.  All three roof lines that border the deck area have aluminum gutters that collect and distribute rainwater into the subsurface collection system.  When the awning is fully extended, all areas of the outside living space remain connected to the roof covered spaces and very well protected from the weather.  The gas grill unit is portable and located along the outer railing during summer and relocated under the covered deck area for winter use or during inclement weather.  Exterior grade cabinetry with a wet sink is located along the back wall of the house and is  supplied by simple frost proof (H/C) hydrants with winter drain-down capability.  The lower (at grade) area below the deck and three season room has a full concrete patio that also serves to extend the outdoor living space to the lower level.

Spa & Outdoor Storage Space

Home spas are used as both a desired lifestyle element as well as for wet heat therapy.  When designed for in advance, they do not have to be energy hogs.  Although an outdoor spa’s energy consumption is not generally part of a zero net energy calculation, it is metered on its own circuit so that energy consumption can be tracked.  Initial performance for the ROSE Cottage Project indicates that total annual PV output will also cover the electrical demands of the outdoor spa, which is a four person (model 495), 315 gallon unit manufactured by Hydropool of Ontario, Canada.  It is a self-cleaning, ultra energy efficient (California HydroWise™ approved), double thermal shield unit.  The base is set on an elevated wooden frame that is located within the storage shed below.  The storage shed walls are fully insulated and buffer the outside temperature to the spa.  The storage shed can store all seasonal items relating to both the upper deck and lower patio areas.  The permanent pitched roof over the spa enables year round use of the spa in all weather conditions…..without snow removal. 

Rear Deck Egress Stairs

The egress stairs leading down from the covered deck are open to the weather.  In addition to providing egress from the elevated outside deck, and connecting the upper level outdoor living space with the lower level patio space, the perimeter concrete walls of the stairs provide structural support for the stairs; serve as a retaining wall for the rear grade transitions; and provide a buttress-type support to reinforce the garage’s rear concrete foundation wall.  The egress stairs treads and center landing within the concrete walls are constructed of open web extruded fiberglass with a non-slip traction surface which requires no maintenance.  What little snow collects can be quickly brushed through the grating to a stone bed below.  The stair stringers and landing header are made from standard pressure treated lumber and fastened to the concrete with stainless steel expansion bolts.  The railings systems are maintenance free CertainTeed Oxford series with internal aluminum rail and steel structural components.