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2020 Solar Style House

The Sterling Solar Model C

Bill Sterling designed the Model C

Solar Style House for an artist who

wanted to convert an existing garage

into a studio. The Model C solar

style design is a 688 SF studio living

space that lends itself to modular

construction for even wilderness

camp site locations where solar

collection could provide off the grid

power source.

This little studio is another ”machine

for collecting solar energy.” It is a

sculpture that expresses on the outside how it functions to gather and conserve energy.


Sterling’s Model C faces the main glass wall directly south, faces moderate amounts of

glass east and west (7%) and no glass facing north. The tilted roof shape improves sun

angle to the optimum for collecting the solar energy with PV roof panels. While the style

is derivative of mid century modern “international style” design principles, it takes a

major step away from the Philip Johnson “glass box” icon to make a more energy

efficient and frankly much more comfortable residence, offering more privacy as well as


Current design drawings and specifications include the latest details of super-insulated

walls, thermal breaks,

air tight construction

and high efficiency

mechanical systems,

approaching net zero

energy design in some



Sterling concludes about the Model C Solar House, “It is a very compact and efficient

design that could fit almost any site, even remote locations. Its size makes it an affordable

artist studio or camp building

for week-end retreats for

fishing or skiing.”

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