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.