M. Dean Jones Architecture and Planning

Custom Homes - Thoughtful Renovations - Planned Communities



Some of our most recent book inclusions:

Title: Dream Homes of Northern California (Marin County), pg. 56.

Publisher: Panache Prtners, LLC.

Location: Dallas, TX, USA.

We have ten pages illustrating this amazing craftsman style home.


Title: Houses of Los Cabos (fourth edition), pg. 130.

Publisher: Amaroma Ediciones

Location: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

We have eight pages in this beautiful book of 18 mega pixel resolution and very descriptive text.


Title: Craftsman - Style Houses, pg. 64.

Publisher: Taunton Press

Location: 63 South Main St., Newtown, CT., USA.

We have six pages in this Craftsman Style Architecture book.


Title: American Architecture, pg. 122.

Publisher: Hanover Publishing Co.

Location: Ashland, New York, USA.

We have two pages in this hard bound book.



Solar Age, Architectural Record, Process Architecture, Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Garden Ideas, Fine Home Building, Building Ideas, Profiles, Home, Building A Home.


From Marin Designer Showcase Publication:

Our thanks to M. Dean Jones, architect, whose vision and design translated ideas into reality in 1986 and again in the 1999 update, especially with the redesign of the master baths and addition of the indoor spa.

M & M

San Rafael, CA



Founding member and Chairman,

Mill Valley Community Center


Chairman; Southern Marin, Richardson's Bay Residential, Design  Review Board.


Guest Lecturer; San Francisco State University, College of Marin, Environmental Forum, Golden State Energy Center, Rotary, North Star at Tahoe, Solar Energy Festival.



Solar Energy Means Self - Sufficiency


Tiburon, Calif., Dec. 00 -- California - based architect M. Dean Jones expects a lot out of a house -- and he gets it.  Jones has proved that a 4,500 - square - foot home can use as little energy as a home of 1,500 square feet.  He believes a $30 per season energy bill should be about par.


"I design my homes to be self sufficient," Jones says.  "I have a belief that we can live on this planet without taking from it when there is an abundance of free energy."


Jones' "free - energy" comes from the sun, which he says is predictable, consistent and unlimited.  His homes, there, consistent and unlimited.  His homes, therefore, are oriented to the sun and designed to work with the environment.  Where possible, he prefers to use natural building materials, even without finish, if appropriate.


"Basically, I am adopting the Indian philosophy of living lightly on the earth, using the sun to warm and the earth to cool.  We can do it, and people are amazed at how easy it is.  It requires very little work to orient a home so that it takes advantage of the free sun's heat."


Jones says he has always been conscious of the environment and natural resources.  When he began designing houses professionally, he decided to put his environmental concerns and creativity to use.  He since has become a pioneer in the passive solar home market and continues to develop new technology to make homes self - sufficient.


One of Jones' first applications was the "direct gain" method of using the sunlight to heat.  Homes designed to use this method allow sunlight to heat interior mass (heat - absorbing material) through south - facing glass, glass walls, French doors or roof glass.  The heat of the day is stored in interior mass and re-radiated to the interior spaces during the course of the evening.


Although not as common as the "direct gain" method of heating a home, Jones also uses "indirect gain" to heat interior mass.  Mass for heat storage can be located in the interior of the home in a crawl space or closet, or it can be the finishing materials for interior rooms, such as plaster used as thin mass.


Heated air is moved by natural conviction or moves from the warmer sun spaces to interior storage areas, consisting of additional mass.


As the solar - heated air moves over or through the heat - storage mass, the heat is given up to the heat - absorbing material for retention and/or re-radiation.


Jones' houses that incorporate internal mass also feature solariums and solar - heated rooms, both of which help collect warm air from outside for storage in the interior.


"Given adequate design, a home can also store internal heat generated from renewable resources such as the heat from a wood burning stove," Jones said.


Jones also designs his homes to be cooled by natural convection.  '"It is much more economical to cool an interior space with cooleth from the earth or cooler air from a shaded north side of the structure, than to use nuclear power to create electricity to run an air - conditioning system," he said.


"One advantage of using natural heating and cooling is that it is subtle and soft.  People aren't even aware of it except when they realize how low their energy bill is."


Jones designs single homes or entire communities, and he also "solarizes" existing homes.  He even has gone as far as tearing down a house and starting over at his client's request to "build it right."


Jones is involved with the Marin Environmental Forum, Golden - Gate Energy Center and other civic groups, where he shares his knowledge and innovations with others.  He also does consulting work with other architects who often come to share his convictions about building in harmony with the environment.


"We have a responsibility to this planet and our environment," he said.  "I feel we must start using less fossil fuels or nuclear power to heat our homes, when the unlimited energy from the sun will do a good job if we consider it in our designs.


"A solar home is no longer something in the future, nor does it need to look experimental," he continued.  "Solar self - sufficient design is an aesthetic reality now."


To see Jones' work is to see the truth of his statement.



Look at these lucky boys enjoying their new house.  What a wonderful contribution to their lives you have given. Thank you!

Love, B & J

Portola Valley, CA


Thanks so much for being part of the "housewarming" and more importantly creating the place to be such a thing of beauty.


Los Cabos MX


We are glad the house is finished and yet sad the whole process is ended.

Watching the house grow from plans to reality was a most exciting and satisfying experience and something we still find hard to believe we did.  You were a prime mover in the entire program and without your pushing we would never have gone ahead and completed the whole thing.

Knowing you and Mike and Lloyd and working with all of you has been rewarding for us.  Other people's tales of dissatisfaction with architects and contractors is something we find hard to understand.  All of you did exactly what you agreed to do or explained why you could not.

The house is right for the setting and right for us.  We still feel that the house is in some sense yours.  If you and your family would use it now and then, it would please us.  We can't think of anyone we would rather have staying there.

Stay in touch, M & B

Mendocino, CA

We are very pleased.

Very Truly yours, J & M

San Geromino, CA


As you were probably aware yesterday.  Bob and I are astounded at what has been achieved in terms of space use and light and views in the house in Mendocino.

Looking at plans on paper is one thing.  To see them take form is another.  It is an experience we have never had before and we are both marveling at it.

That basic 20' by 28' house is a real creation as much as any painting or musical composition and we are both aware of this.  We really appreciate what you have achieved.

Neither of us thinks that paying architect's fee's is foolish.  We just both look at each other once in awhile and think we are presumptuous on our income to be building a house at all.

Our concerns with money are not based on any idea that what we are getting is not worth it.  We just both know the sum that we have saved and planned for the project and as the end nears, wonder if we'll make it.

I guess this all leads to the lights.  We trust your judgment.

T & B

Mendocino, CA


Dear Dean,

Many thanks for all your wonderful help.  We're getting close to the completion party.

Till then, our sincere thanks.

Very Truly yours, B.G.

San Rafael, CA


Dear Dean,

After spending a quit weekend at home, just roaming around my new home, I keep finding myself enjoying all the little touches of comfort and pleasure your mind has created.

I truly marvel at your ability to understand my taste, style and personality and translate those into a final composition.  Even though it is your creation, it seems as if the house was made for me.  It suits me well!

Thank you for your thoughtfulness and keen perception.  Thank you for my truly beautiful, comfortable and luxurious house.

Warmest Regards, N.L.

San Rafael, CA

Northern California Architecture Dean Jones