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Mid-Century Modern and Solar Glisten in Palm Springs

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Feb 27, 2014 12:37:00 PM

Incorporated in 1938, Palm Springs, Calif., became known as “the winter playground of the stars.” Stars like Frank Sinatra soon set the stage for modern design in the sunny desert where winter visitors took advantage of natural hot springs and gentle winter weather.

Builder Far West Industries taps into that modern heritage, but combines the classic Palm Springs look with the 21st century power production of Canadian Solar installed by PetersenDean.

Far West Industries’ Murano Springs will have 42 homes designed by Palm Springs architect James Cioffi. Eight floor plans will range in size from 2,186 to 2,326 square feet, though homes can be as large as 2,671 square feet, if the 354-square-foot guest house is included. Each home features a pool and spa.

Murano is one of the few communities that offers a 4 kW photovoltaic solar system on each home as a standard. Estimated annual energy savings will be about $1,980 a year or $165 a month. Estimated five-year savings can total up to $10,296. Federal tax credits totaling about $2,500 are available for most homeowners with solar roofing.

Jim Petersen, founder of PetersenDean (which works providing solar to a who’s who of national home builders) says, “Solar power is a logical technology and is becoming so affordable that paybacks can be as low as three years.  After that the homeowner owns the power. As they say, ‘It’s the new granite countertop,’ and people love their granite countertops. But a granite counter can’t pay your electricity bills; solar panels can.”  

In addition to solar, Murano Springs includes other green features: tankless hot water heating systems, Bosch stainless steel appliances, drought-tolerant drip irrigation landscape systems, variable speed pool pumps and Low-E glass windows.

The homes are not only sustainable but also mid-century-modern stylish with window shadow boxes and extended rooflines on the exterior (that shade expansive glass). Home interiors feature voluminous ceilings from room to room and sealed, polished concrete flooring in entry, kitchen, great room and dining room.

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