Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 - 11:41 pm 
(Arizona time)

Valley of the Sun Solar and Sustainability Tour

Downloadable Tour Guide: PDF format-High Resolution (10 MB)
PDF format-Low Resolution (4 MB)
Locator Map Overview of Locations

Site Descriptions

dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


Allsop Residence


October 26 - Saturday only
9:00 am - 12:00 noon & 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


10933 East Sahuaro Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
Directions: Heading east on Shea turn left at 110th Street. Take the second left onto East Sahuaro Drive. Our house sits on the corner of 109th Place and East Sahuaro Drive about 30 yards down from the 110th street turn in. It has a green standing seam metal roof.


An architect’s focus on transforming an existing Valley home into an appropriate desert residence, this rehabilitation shows what can be done with an existing energy inefficient and sometimes inappropriate desert building. A repurposed, revised existing building in a traditional neighborhood with all the bells and whistles for solar, green building and sustainability. A transformation from the old housing stock to the appropriate
desert residence.

The owners applied basic “Architecture, Engineering and Product Design 101” principles to the construction detailing and insulation systems and the selection of components. The total cost was about $95/sf. They controlled everything about the design and all construction details so as to make them simple, easy to build and
install, affordable and elegant.

The underside of the roof and gable ends were spray-foamed with 6" of 1/2 pound open cell insulation foam (soy-based). They took off the asphalt shingles and replaced them with a standing seam highly-reflective metal roof.

Energy usage was cut by 40% just by applying simple building science techniques in insulation in the walls and roof plus the use of radiant barriers where hot-rolled steel plates were the finish to the gable ends. After nearly a year, a 6.7kW Solar array (Sun Power) was installed, and since then (two years) there have not been any electricity bills. The rooftop system produces a little more electricity to the grid than is used, the APS bills show an average credit at wholesale rates of $40 a month since the PV system was installed in October of 2011.

dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


ASU Campus Solar Tour



October 26 - Saturday only
10:00 am - 3:30 pm

  555 S. Packard Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 or
Parking Lot 59 East on east side of S. Rural at 6th Street
  Tour #1 of the Sun Devil Athletics District (starting at Packard Drive Parking Structure #7) will let you see the following, including a few sites that you can get “Up Close and Personal” (UCAP) with:
  • Lot 58/59 covered parking (fixed) – UCAP, you can park underneath it
  • Wells Fargo Arena (rooftop) also, interior listing is all LED.
  • Carson Student Athletic Center (rooftop)
  • Stadium Parking structure #5 (single-axis tracker) – UCAP, you can park underneath it.
  • Packard Drive Parking Structure #7 (fixed) – UCAP, you can park underneath it
  • Lot 59 PowerParasol (Packard/Rio Salado) – UCAP, you can park underneath it; it’s 25-ft tall so hard to see “up close”.
  • Adjacent site = Fulton Center Parking Structure (single-axis tracker) – UCAP, you can park underneath it.

Tour #2 of the Sun Devil Athletics District (starting at Parking Lot 59 East) will let you see the following, including a few you can get “Up Close and Personal” with:
  • Starting point – Parking Lot 59 East on east side of S. Rural at 6th Street (adjacent to Verde Dickey Dome – white bubble)
  • Verde Dickey Dome (fixed ground mount) – UCAP, stand at the fence and look in.
  • Sun Devil Sports Performance covered parking (fixed) – UCAP, you can park underneath it
  • Farrington Softball Stadium (fixed covered seating) – UCAP, you can sit underneath it, but it is hard to see “up close.”
dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


ASU Global Institute of Sustainability



October 26-27
1:00 pm - 4:30 pm only


800 S. Cady Mall
Tempe, AZ 85281

Directions: Wrigley Hall is located at ASU’s Tempe campus on the corner of College Ave. and University Dr. across from the ASU Fulton Center. Parking is available at the ASU Fulton Center parking garage on College Ave. From there, walk south on College Ave. and cross University Dr. Wrigley Hall is the brick building with white wind turbines on the roof.


ASU’s premier program and location of sustainability in education, research and implementation.See the building; the techniques; and the continuing evolution of sustainability in Arizona, nationally, and globally. The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of Arizona State University’s sustainability initiatives.

The Institute advances research, education, and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first comprehensive program of its kind in the U.S., offers transdisciplinary degree programs focused on finding practical solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. What used to be ASU’s College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation is now Wrigley Hall, the Institute and School’s headquarters. The recycled building was renovated in 2007 to reduce energy consumption and waste and increase efficiency. The building is now a healthier work and studying environment thanks to low-VOC carpeting and paints, floor-to-ceiling windows, and natural lighting. Wrigley Hall boasts wind turbines and solar panels as well as dual-flush toilets, open breezeways, and drought-tolerant native landscaping.

For more sustainable features, visit


dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


Barnhart Studio/Gallery



October 26 - Saturday only
9:00 am - 12:00 noon & 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


  506 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
Directions: From Main Street and Center Street in Mesa, north on Center for ½ mile to University. Studio is on West side of street approximately 500 feet north of University.

See this unique and creative studio embodying recycled and repurposed materials. Completed in 2008, the studio is constructed from glass and steel, and a vast amount of additional material in this project are used or recycled.

The Studio is 3,700+ sf with 28 foot ceilings. Beautiful natural light pours through the 7 skylights and north windows.

The Studio features sustainability and green practices in design and execution—including a repurposed VW bus mounted 12 feet off the floor that has been used as a sleeping loft and is accessible by a glass catwalk. Also included is a rock climbing wall, sculpture garden, and a fireman’s pole.

A 1,500 lb arched steel and concrete-ball entry gate gently pivots across the driveway to the front, and a lushly planted xeriscaped sculpture garden graces the rear of the property. Living With the Sun — creatively, whimsically, and appropriately.


dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


Catlin Residence



October 26 - Saturday only
9:00 am - 12:00 noon & 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


  120 S. Omaha Street
Mesa, AZ 85206
Directions: From Main Street and Val Vista, drive East on Main Street. Turn right on S. Norfolk. Make a left turn on E. Alder. At the end of that street turn right onto Omaha. The home is the next to last house on the right side of Omaha.
  This residence of a solar specialist for the Native American community, incorporates energy equipment and strategies providing a level of energy independence in the form of power generation and water heating.

This unobtrusive but highly effective remodel includes a variety of PV and SHW equipment and strategies, along with other solar and sustainable improvements including improved insulation, water efficient landscaping, energy efficient interiors and much more.

There are three different photovoltaic systems with three different inverters located here (roof- and pole-mounted panels with one system having battery backup) for a total of 12 kW of installed capacity.

The home also features:
  • A solar water heater
  • Solar clothes dryer (clothes line)
  • Solar-powered attic fan
  • A water feature with fish, raised gardens and fruit and pecan trees.

Information about energy production, system costs, and return on investment will be provided.


dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


DiFrancesco-Priebe Residence



October 26 - Saturday only
9:00 am - 12:00 noon only


  463 N. MacDonald Street
Mesa, AZ 85201
Directions: From University Dr. and Country Club go east on University approximately 3/8 of a mile to MacDonald. Head north on MacDonald—home is the 5th house on the right.

A solar and green residence designed and built from the ground-up in the middle of Mesa’s core historic district, this eight-year old residence incorporates numerous green building/sustainable strategies while keeping with the neighborhood.

The home incorporates appropriate design for desert conditions—the east-west axis with large southfacing windows coupled with stained concrete floors and countertops for thermal mass provide much of the winter heating requirement.

Low water consumption is acheived with gray water lines to the landscape and many other water-saving strategies are incorporated.

Exterior walls are constructed of OmniBlock with an additional inch of insulation applied to the exterior of the wall and interior insulation is made from recycled denim blue jeans! Lots of natural daylight provided by windows and solar tube, high-efficiency air cooling, tankless water heater and a PV solar power system make this a super-livable home.


dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


Dunton Residence



October 26 - Saturday & Sunday
9:00 am - 12:00 noon & 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  16026 S. 14th Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85045
Directions: Take Pecos off of the I-10 heading west. Exit north on S. 17th. Ave. and head north until Chandler Blvd. Turn right (East) on Chandler Blvd. take first right on S. 14th Ave. (Club West Golf Course), then take the 2nd right onto Wildwood Dr.; then head north (right) up to the end of S. 14th Dr.

The home of a solar technical specialist, inventor, educator and sustainability advocate, this existing building adaptation incorporates solar power generation, solar hot water heating, green building materials and equipment/fixtures, and sustainable landscaping.

Half of the lawn in the back has been converted to a vegetable garden, the front lawn is now a desertscape, window shades and added film on all south and west windows.

There are four PV systems: Two grid-tied PV systems (3.8 kW on the house and a 7kW solar structure in back yard), an off-grid 1.3kW PV pool pump and an off-grid PV powered greenhouse (pumps and lights). The system monitoring station will be running, with current and past energy harvest information visible.

The owner is an instructor for PV installers and a residential PV system design engineer Iand will be available to answer questions people may have about solar energy. There will be a number of solar modules and other system components on display.


dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


Frost Residence



October 26 - Saturday only
9:00 am - 12:00 noon & 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


  9820 N. Turquoise Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85020
Directions: Easiest route is from Mountain View and Cave Creek road. This intersection  is North of Northern, South of Cactus, East of 7th Street. From the Mountain View/Cave Creek intersection (street light) head east on Mountain View  towards the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. At the end of Mountain View, the  road will turn left and become 17th Street. Immediately after this turn, you  will turn right onto Mountain View again. MV will again curve gradually to the  North and briefly change to N. Turquoise Avenue. The home is on the left hand  side of the street, set below the street. Look for the canvas carport and the large  PV array on the roof. The addresses get confusing because they switch from  9800 numbers and 1700 numbers. Don’t panic, just look for the home on the left.

The Frost home is nestled in the western foothills of the Phoenix mountain preserve. Built in 1974, this slumpblock home was first designed in the 1960’s by renowned valley architect, Ralph Haver.

Known throughout the valley for their signature style, Haver homes are simple, classic and midcentury modern. The Frost’s purchased the home in 2006 with the intention of doing an eco-renovation; converting the home to be free of toxins, energy efficient and low water use. While still in the midst of an 8 year renovation process, the Frost home has been fully transformed from its original form. No room has been left untouched. Every surface is a showcase of eco-friendly, non-toxic materials, many reused from their former business,
a.k.a. Green.

In 2012, the failure of the heat pump prompted an in depth research into converting the home to Net Zero energy. All gas was removed, the highest efficiency HP and water heater were installed and a 9.1kW SunPower PV system was added to the home. After 12 months of operation, the home is operating at Net Zero energy. It is certainly one of the “greenest” homes in the Valley; combining net zero energy, water efficiency, drought tolerant landscaping, natural and non-toxic materials and finishes, LED lighting, high performance, thermally broken glazing and much more.


dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


Mesa Urban Garden



October 26 - Saturday only
9:00 am - 1:00 pm only

  212 E. 1st Avenue
Mesa, AZ 85210
Directions: From Main Street and Center Street in downtown Mesa, drive East on Main.  Turn right on S. Hibbert. Make a left turn on East 1st Ave. The Mesa Urban  Garden is 200 feet east of the intersection of Hibbert and 1st Ave.

Newly opened in January of 2013 in the heart of downtown is Mesa Urban Garden, a nonprofit community garden whose board members specialize in scalable and sustainable project management.

The garden offers over 100 garden beds to lease out to individuals, groups, or sponsors in the community. Communal beds are tended to by volunteers where the yields are made available to food banks and shelters.

ASU design students have provided drawings and plans for a handicapaccessible bed and a Ramada that includes solar PV panels and rainwater harvesting. The accessible bed construction is in progress and completion of the Ramada is pending additional funding.

Besides gardening, various community activities have already taken place such gardening classes, art and music events, entertainment and more!

For more information, visit


dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing


Vali Homes Prototype



October 27 - Sunday only
9:00 am - 12:00 noon & 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  2302 E. Curnow Dr.
Phoenix, AZ  85016
Directions: Crossroads from the North are Osborn and 24th St., Thomas and 24th from the  South. From 24th turn West on Earll Dr., North (right) on 23rd St., house is on the right and hard to miss (its a green and rusty steel box).

This new prototype desert residence is influenced by early contemporary designs of California (Eichler) and Arizona (Beadle). The architect-designed residence takes those design icons to a new level in the desert. This new, energy efficient and sustainable residence embodies appropriate desert design, materials and up-todate technologies and practices in the  Valley setting. Passive/active solar, Green Building and sustainability practices, and simplicity of desert form make for a remarkable and elegant living experience.

The concept of the house is a reflection of the forward thinking architecture of the simple, modernist homes of the 1960's with an emphasis on everything we have learned since about energy efficiency, comfort and durable construction.

The goal is to have a house that will last and stay relevant for the next 100 years with minimal maintenance and worry. It is very simple but very well executed. The house is designed to be net zero energy and very low water use.

The idea was to take as much load off the house as possible through passive solar design, air sealing and proper insulation to reduce the demand of the systems and create a comfortable and healthy environment year round.

The builders and archictect will be on hand to answer questions.


dividerReturn to Tour Sites Listing

AzSC Blog

The Story of the Year is Fake

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”  --Winston Churchill

Continue Reading...

--- Find us on ---
Facebook Twitter Meetup Group Youtube Wikipedia Linked In
Why not Like Us on Facebook?
Or Follow us on Twitter?

Login or Register

We thank the following AzSC Sponsors:
ASEA Logo AriSEIA Logo PSM Logo