Pioneers in green building, we are devoted to providing comfortable, energy-efficient, high performance architecture.

  • Lost Pines Art Center and Sculpture Garden

    Lost Pines Art Center and Sculpture Garden

    The Lost Pines Art Center’s new facilities includes an impressive art gallery, community gathering space, offices, studios, foundry, hot glass shop, ceramics kiln, coffee shop, artists’ residences and gift shop.  The goal of this project was to revitalize the community spirit of a Texas town where a quarter of its residents had their homes devastated by wildfires.  Another primary goal was to create a central location for a vibrant and growing arts community. The site had been the home to the historic local icon known as the Powell Cotton Seed Mill and Silos, built in the early 1900‘s.  The old building’s structure became the inspiration for the new design.  The existing silos will soon be re-purposed and are a legacy to the original structures.  Extensive and careful use of natural “day lighting” was incorporated into the design to maximize appropriate glare-free lighting while minimizing unwanted solar heat gain; while the use of our Barley Pfeiffer "shading umbrella" proprietary metal roof and siding consists of high-recycled content steel that is used to create a heat-avoiding ventilated radiation barrier system.

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  • Net Zero Retreat

    Net Zero Retreat

    This home demonstrates that the present-popular Modern style can respond well to our harsh summers in Central Texas.  It displays attributes not often associated with homes of the Modern movement – soft balanced natural day-lighting, remarkable comfort via passive solar control measures, energy efficiency without reliance on expensive and maintenance-intensive Green “gizmos”, and lower exterior maintenance – all by architectural design. The client desired the nexus of environmental stewardship with “high performance” comfort & health attributes.  Total reliance on rain-water collection, harmonious response to the site’s micro-climate, excellent Indoor Air Quality without the reliance on a separate mechanical system, enhanced natural ventilation strategies, and a lovely bug-free semi-outdoor “living room” that comfortably connects one to the outdoors are a few examples of the architect’s approach to Green By Design that results in a home that exceeds the expectations of its owners – yet still treads lightly on its natural surroundings.
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  • Modern Farm House

    Modern Farm House

    Perhaps the greatest achievement that this project represents is convincing a family that had become accustomed to living in 5000-plus square feet in the far out Austin suburbs to be comfortable in a home significantly less than half that size, on a piece of property one tenth the size, in a location close to downtown and the amenities they would frequent.  These homeowners “bought into” the idea of reducing their carbon footprint by retiring into a high performance home that would demonstrate energy efficiencies and contain healthy indoor air quality; attributes that would allow them to “live well” in a soft, contemporary style.  The project programming and interior layout of this home were developed with “green” living in mind from the get-go.  Spaces are multi-functional.  It was programmed and designed so that it functions also as a pleasant patio, outdoor cooking area and pet washing station.  The screened-in porch is situated to take in the prevailing breezes, serve as a true extension of the open floor plan living area, and as a breeze collector working in sync with the “thermal siphon” stair tower, with it’s shaded clerestory windows on the NW side of the home.  To minimize the home’s impervious cover footprint and its roof area, all bedrooms are upstairs, contrary to conventional real estate development thinking.  This allowed for vertical zoning of separate air-conditioning systems which minimizes conditioning unoccupied areas during times of the day when those rooms are not in use.
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  • The Refined Ranch

    The Refined Ranch

    This 1960’s ranch style home in the Tarrytown neighborhood went through a dramatic transformation to match contemporary lifestyle and aesthetic sought by the owner.  Working within the footprint of the 2600 sq ft home, the main floor bedrooms and bathrooms were re-imagined to create more open space and provide modern amenities.  The existing fabric of the home was transformed through the addition of additional windows and the introduction of new exterior materials to bring more natural light into the interior spaces and update the look of the house.  The focal point of the project was the infusion of light and space into the living room and entry through the insertion of a new roof-line and large windows to create a modern light filled space at the center of the home.  One of the most noteworthy differences is the luxurious level of comfort the owner is able to live in - at half the cost of the utility bills prior to the remodel.
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  • Cliffside Inspiration

    Cliffside Inspiration

    Located on a lot so steep it was once deemed unbuildable, the design of this home takes full advantage of the prevailing breezes, spectacular views, and the owners’ desire to remain in the neighborhood they call home. The house hugs the rocky ridge and steep slope, providing a top floor to accommodate the owner’s plan to ‘age in place’, while the downstairs is a space for family visits. The best compliment to this home’s energy efficient design? In the teeth of the brutal 2011 summer, this house was the venue for a fundraiser that was cool and comfortable – and utility bills averaged $127/month.
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  • Boxley Bend Residence

    Boxley Bend Residence

    Taking the time to integrate the client's lifestyle expectations, design tastes, and budget constraints was imperative for a great outcome.  Addressing the site, we pay homage to the views, solar orientation, prevailing breezes, geography and vegetation, as well as the context of the neighborhood. These are some of the elements that make your house feel at home in its setting.  
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  • Mountain View Residence

    Mountain View Residence

    Ecologically minded clients also wanted to incorporate FUN into their home!  Not only did we pay special attention to the site and its micro-climate, but we introduced the clients to products that are healthier to live with, yet easy to obtain regionally.  We believe in using space wisely to create a true sense of “home” while incorporating an innovative flair.

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  • Golfers Laboratory

    Golfers Laboratory

    This site specific home is laid out to efficiently work with the topography, orientation, views, and breezes of the Texas Hill-Country. Overhangs, awnings, and deep covered patios provide passive solutions to keeping direct sunlight from entering into the house while still allowing large window openings to connect to the outdoors.
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  • Hairpin House

    Hairpin House

    Our clients were looking for a home to renovate in the Austin area when they found a simple brick one story 1970s home that had been neglected for many years. The front yard sloped down to the front of the home allowing water to gather and there had been an inexpensive addition done at the rear of the house. The floor plan was characterized by a series of rooms clustered together around a sunken living room with no connection to the outside. The front yard would be leveled to help channel water around the house.  Most of the exterior brick was replaced with Hardiplank siding and the remaining brick was painted to lighten the exterior.  Exterior windows and doors were replaced with Marvin Integrity brand windows. The rear addition was stripped off and replaced with a new screened porch, with a vaulted ceiling and fireplace, and a new deck. The sunken living room was filled and the many interior walls were removed, tremendously brightening up the interior.  A new kitchen was designed with much of it now opening up into the living room. New fixtures, finishes, mechanical systems and wood floors were added throughout the home. A basic builders box was given a new lease on life, bringing its image and function into the 21st century, providing our clients with an efficient, sustainable, and effective way to repurpose this average home into a high performance efficient living environment.
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  • Firebird Lane

    Firebird Lane

    Located in Lakeway, this two story house owned by our clients needed some serious upgrading. After discussing the clients' ideas we were able to come up with not only a beautiful, but functional energy saving design. Some of the key unique features include a screened-in porch with a wood burning fireplace and a view, large overhangs that double as a cover for the porch and patio, swimming pool with a hot tub, and tall windows to bring in natural lighting.
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  • Tarrytown Residence Renewed

    Tarrytown Residence Renewed

    What makes this home a unique is that it demonstrates a complete remodeling and updating on the interior from a home originally designed in 2000 with the “Craftsman” style in mind to the Modern style - while retaining many of the positive features of the original design by the owner/architect.
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  • Urban Art Residence

    Urban Art Residence

    Tucked into a neighborhood called Tarrytown you will find a unique house that we call the Urban Art Residence. One look inside and you will understand why the name fits so well.
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  • Zen Gardens Way

    Zen Gardens Way

    In the Steiner Ranch neighborhood of Northwest Austin our clients wanted to build a family home that would provide a comfortable backdrop for them to raise their two sons. They found the perfect property sitting at the edge of a ravine with great views that faced to the southeast. The set was staged for the new home to be with perfect orientation for the Central Texas climate.

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  • Austin Modern

    Austin Modern

    This holistic or “whole house” design approach was adopted from the inception of this project to ensure that this contemporary designed home would achieve the following  goals : beauty, comfort,  energy and resource efficiency, durability, lower maintenance, within an environmentally conscious,  healthy and safe environment.  
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What our clients are saying

Everything we do, we do first with our client's need in mind. The space you're building should be unique; not only in appearance, but also in how to feels. We take your needs to heart and ensure that what we deliver looks great and feels right.

  • Austin Home Magazine Fall 2013

    "We've never had as much fun living anywhere as we've had living in this place. It has just been a joy"

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  • Mike and Melinda Rieken

    As you know, we have been in our Hill Country Home for several months now. We continue to love every aspect of it. We think of the design process and three of you frequently.
    We worked with an Architect years ago in California. We have also worked with a number of home designers over the years. None of those experiences can compare with our experience with Barley & Pfeiffer. This is true of the design process, managing expectations against budget, cost forecasting, breadth of knowledge, attention to detail and project management. The combination of innovative design coupled with your knowledge of builder performance (thermal envelop, mechanical systems, lighting, etc.) is the best I have encountered. Also, Sharon’s inspection reports were the best I have seen. It was truly a pleasure working with professionals such as yourselves.

  • Cindy and Harry Zimmerman

    My wife and I used Barley|Pfeiffer to design our lake house. Initially we thought we were going to do a major remodel. After getting that set of plans done, we then decided to go for a complete rebuild which they also did the work on. These people were real professionals through the whole process which stretched over 2 years in just the design process, not counting the 17 months of construction where they also stayed involved and provided guidance. The final product is a house that we love and has gotten numerous positive comments from our friends and guests when they see how the house is designed and laid out. Peter, Alan, Steve and Matt were great to work with and we highly recommend them.

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