The Solar Home, Valerie Street

Bellaire, New Construction

You could say this project was ahead of its time. Built in 2001/2002 by Dovetail Builders, this home makes use of three solar systems and features energy efficient geothermal air conditioning. It’s been showcased in the Houston Solar Tour and in the local Bellaire Nature Center Home tour as an example of green home building. But that’s not what this home is best known for. It’s a favorite home that many people remember for its Texas Hill Country styling and great curb appeal.

The Texas dog trot entrance separates the main house from a “his and hers” office suite and library. The entry itself is a carefully composed and constructed room with hand crafted exposed trusses, remote controlled skylights and French doors. The interior of the home reflects the exterior styling, with an added touch of Scandinavian influence. Custom cypress doors and moldings provide warmth, and are carefully paired with maple cabinets and oak flooring.

The interior is designed to capture daylight. Sloped ceilings and well placed windows ensure that every room is naturally lit. Generous roof overhangs protect windows during the summer to prevent heat gain. A few strategically placed west facing windows celebrate the end of the day by allowing the last rays of the sun to shine into the center of the home.

  • Address: 5307 Valerie Street, Bellaire TX, 77401
  • Size: 4,300 s.f. of air conditioned space
  • Completion: Fall 2002
  • Builder: Dovetail Builders, Chris Fry
  • Construction System: Traditional wood stick frame with skin vent system
  • Solar Systems: Solar Electric, Solar Hot Water and Solar Pool Heater
Solar Electric Panels
  • 3.15 kW system with forty panels and 2 inverters to convert DC power from the panels to AC for the house.
  • There is a bank of batteries that store about 2 days worth of power (excluding air conditioning).
Solar Hot Water Heater
  • The two large panels on the roof are solar water heaters.
  • Water is preheated by the sun before going to a tankless water heater.
Solar pool Heater
  • The large rubber panel system on the lower roof is the pool heating system. The pool pump also pumps the water for the solar heater, making it very efficient to use.
Skin Vent System
  • A skin vent sheathing system keeps the exterior walls cool.  An additional air space in the walls vent to the attic, pulling warm air up and away from the insulated stud wall.