Six Scottsdale Solar Homes on Tour This Weekend

The City of Scottsdale’s Green Building Program emailed me the following info on the Valley of the Sun – Phoenix Metro 2009 Solar Home Tours this weekend, where several Scottsdale homes will be open to the public this weekend, from 9 am to 3 pm.  It’s a great opportunity to see some of the latest green building techniques, as well as the variety of the applications.  

The addresses and schedule of the six Scottsdale open houses, along with a brief description of techniques used follow the city’s announcement.


Arizona joins the 2009 National Solar Home Tour, the 14th annual tour coordinated nationally by the American Solar Energy Society (ASEA). The national tour is the world’s largest grassroots solar event with more than 150,000 participants, taking place in nearly every state across the U.S.  This fun event offers open-house tours to show how you can use solar energy and energy efficiency to reduce monthly utility bills, to live more comfortably within your local environment, and to help tackle climate change.

The Arizona tour, “Living with the Sun – Arizona Style” features tours across our State.  Specific information on locations, times, and types of sustainable technology applications can be found on the Arizona Solar Center web site:

The Phoenix Valley the tour will be held on Saturday, October 24th and Sunday, October 25th, from 9 am to 3 pm each day. Most locations on the tour are free. The tour provides an informal way to meet people who are using a whole range of approaches to make living in the desert more comfortable, affordable and environmentally friendly.  The tour will also include several green certified homes under the Scottsdale Green Building Program and national LEED certification program.

New for this year are homeowners who have used some of the latest technologies such as thin film photovoltaic panels, micro inverters, and rain and water capture and re-use systems.  Chuck Skidmore, ASEA chairman explains, “The sun’s energy falls on your roof every day.  It can work for you, or against you. This event is a great way to learn how it can work for you.”

You can also talk with people who have made “going sustainable/solar” more affordable by taking advantage of the latest financing methods, utility rebates, and higher tax credits.  Some systems can now be easily expanded as funds become available over time.  ASES recently noted that solar costs have decreased by close to 30% in the last year and federal incentives have increased significantly.

The tour Guide will be available on-line at   The guide contains all the information you will need for this self-guided tour.  Specific locations, sustainable/solar features, presentation times, and maps will be provided. You can also learn about other Arizona tours and upcoming events.

Scottsdale Solar / Sustainable Homes on Tour

Open Saturday, October 24th, Only

8502 E. Cactus Wren – This 30+ year-old passive and active solar residence shows shows that good ideas, design and applications withstand the test of time.

Open Sunday, October 25th, Only

8243 E. Monte Vista Road – This green remodel includes energy efficiency, rainwater harvesting, resource-efficient construction, and site landscaping as a food garden.

Open Both Saturday and Sunday

11458 E. Christmas Cholla Drive – The Solar Energy Greenhouse is used for growing orchids and utilizes the glass as the collector glazing and embodies a solar thermal collector system composed of 144 movable collector louvers. The greenhouse embodies a compact evaporative cooler and an aquaculture cell, with fish, that provides water with nutrients for the orchids.

10875 E. Bahia Drive – Located within an existing planned community, this recently renovated 11-year old residence incorporates numerous Sustainable strategies while keeping with the homeowner association guidelines.

8151 E. Smokehouse TrailCompleted in 1999, the Edwards Residence in North Scottsdale incorporates many Green Building elements in its construction. Its Southwestern design blends with the surrounding desert with an emphasis on sustainability. The Edwards residence was also the first straw bale home to be permitted in the City of Scottsdale.

25227 N. Roping Road – This currently-under-construction home is designed to optimize the passive and active solar advantages Arizona has to offer. The main building materials are autoclaved aerated concrete block (AAC), rammed earth, wood, steel and glass.

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