Many of our projects have been highlighted on architecture tours, praised through awards and designations. The following is a brief look at our top 10 favorite residential spaces, in which we highlight the beauty of the design and how we best incorporate high-performance architecture into each project.Start your project
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.
The project program was to focus on creating a casual country retreat for a city girl to get away to. The home includes a small main house, with a fantastic screened-in porch, and a distinctly separate two- bedroom guest house which is separated from the main house by an open parking pavilion and garage. A lap pool off the main living area and Master wing allows for direct access to the pool and terrace from most of the house. The design reflects the separate wings of the house. A common area runs perpendicular to the private Master wing with the Garage / Guest House at a slight angle to the common wing. The layout of the wings creates diverging shed roofs in three directions while fitting comfortably beneath several large century old Live Oak trees. The simple shapes of the individual wings are articulated with large projecting shed roofs that extend well off the exterior wall and are supported by a galvanized steel frame. The exterior finish materials focused on low maintenance, regionally appropriate materials that would weather over time in a beautiful, unassuming manner. The finishes consist of copper siding, limestone veneer and corrugated metal siding. The interior of the home takes advantage of the unique shed roof layout with an upside down curved roof truss and vaulted ceilings throughout most of the main rooms. The large common room is broken into three bays of using the curved truss and is accentuated by a small light shelf that bounces light off the adjacent curved ceiling.
Nestled quietly and sophisticatedly in the historic Tarrytown neighborhood, this high tech residence, cloaked in a traditional bungalow style, outperforms most energy efficient homes. Its orientation and careful location of windows, extended overhangs, covered porches, and screened porch facilitate a successful passive solar design while increasing the interior comfort of the home.
This high tech custom residence is sited on a mid-sized central city lot to take advantage of the prevailing breezes and good solar orientation. The layout of the interior spaces reinforces these pragmatic goals while also being unique to the way a contemporary family lives. The dwelling is equipped with an ultra-efficient water-source heat pump system that’s tied to the swimming pool and surrounding ground for winter space heating & warm months’ air-conditioning. This unique set up also allows for heating the pool in the mild spring and fall months, when the system functions in air-conditioning mode. By integrating many passive solar heating and cooling strategies, as well as highly efficient appliances, the 9.66 kilowatt “grid-tied” solar PV system is able to generate enough electricity to make this residence approach “zero energy” in that it produces almost as much electricity in a year as it consumes. Furthermore, an underground 26,000 gallon self cleaning rainwater catchment system provides for this homes’ exterior water needs and allows for this house to be independent from the municipal water supply, if the owner so desired.
After enhancing this sophisticated home with an alliance of efficient features, the homeowner was motivated to design a proprietary computer program to monitor and control the entire HVAC, lighting, PV system output, motorized skylight and windows, rainwater cistern level, lawn sprinklers, as well as their water and gas consumption.
This house has been awarded the coveted Five Star Rating by The Austin Energy Green Building Program. This is the highest green building award available from the oldest and most vetted green building program in the USA.
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.
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.
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.