Nestled on 100 acres in Texas Hill Country, this artist’s compound is a colorful gem of self-sufficient living and connection with nature. It is an energy efficient and creative nod to quintessential, self-reliant, Texas ranch living.
A heavily integrated design process included builder, client and architect and after a careful one year process this design began construction. The homeowners did their own landscaping and incorporated a holistic approach to site planning and landscape, programmed from the beginning of the planning process. Family and community are the focus of this ranch, creating a space where the homeowners could age in place surrounded by family, food, and the Texas countryside.
An abundant one acre garden and orchard are watered solely by a 30,000 gallon rainwater collection tank. This tank is also used to water cattle and other livestock on the ranch, providing the family with their food needs. An additional 40,000 rainwater tank provides 100% of the water necessary for domestic water usage. This solar powered compound is complete with a battery backup system to support energy needs for the main house and detached living quarters.
The building envelope integrates 2x6 advanced framing, full fill spray foam insulation and Zip SystemⓇ into an exceptionally energy efficient yet affordable home. Whole home air filtration and a high efficiency CarrierⓇ InfinityⓇ variable speed heat pump provide a comfortable and healthy home environment. No VOC paints and stains were used throughout creating healthy indoor air quality. Low flow water fixtures, dual flush toilets and energy efficient appliances were also used to minimize energy and water usage. Large overhangs and screened porches were essential to reducing the exposure of the intense Texas heat and provide the family with an additional living quarters. Locally handcrafted blacksmith handrails are a beautiful touch that incorporate local materials and support the local economy by employing local artisans.
With the combination of these sustainable features, this home has currently achieved a 10 HERS rating which indicates that this home is 90% more efficient than a standard home built today. The homeowner is already planning an expansion of the solar array to achieve their ultimate goal of having a net zero home (HERS rating of 0).
Homeowners removed invasive species and took special consideration to land stewardship and property management throughout the process of this project. In the past few years Texas has been plagued with drought and wildfires, and the homeowners built this passive solar home in response to the changing landscape. A preliminary Wildfire Defense assessment was incorporated into the building site to minimize risk of loss. Equipped with Firewise stucco exterior and a galvalume reflective metal roof this home is built and designed to local wildfire standards. Additionally, this property has an approved Texas Agricultural Exemption and features the iconic Texas Longhorn, highlighting the effort to be a balanced part of the surrounding environment.
Throughout this house and property the homeowners, builder and architect have shown attention to detail and thoughtful reflection before execution. Adorned with special touches and color at every turn, it is evident that these homeowners love art, cooking, and time with family as much as they love preservation of energy, water and the environment.
Builder: Native Architect: Stephen Colley, Stephen Colley Architecture Interior Design: Jacqueline Burke and Assoc.
Appliances: Sub zero / Wolf
Cabinets, Shelves, Millwork: kitchen-pre-finished hickory, great room-pre-finished hickory, wine room-pre-finished hickory, powder bath-paint grade birch, laundry-paint grade birch, pantry-paint grade birch, studio-pre-finished hickory, master bath-paint grade birch, bath 2-pre-finished hickory
Building Envelope: 2 x 6 advanced framing, with full fill open cell foam, Zip system
Automotive: Circuit run to car port for charging station
Countertops: 3cm granite
Caulks and Sealants: Low VOC
Door/Hardware: Andersen E-Series
Electrical: electrical wiring for PV array, battery backup, electric car, Egauge energy monitoring
Exterior Finishes: Firewise stucco
Fire Protection: built wildfire standards designed custom for specific geographical area
Flooring: stained concrete
Home Controls: Egauge energy monitoring and Carrier Infinity smart thermostats
HVAC/Ducts: Carrier Infinity Green Speed variable speed air conditioning (3 zones) / Mitsubishi Mini-Splits (casita)
Insulation: open cell spray foam
Landscaping: native and edible plants
Paints and Stains: No VOC
Plumbing/Plumbing Fixtures: low flow fixtures and toilets
Renewable Energy Systems (solar, wind, etc.): 8.7 kW system with battery backup
Roof: 24 gauge standing seam metal roof
Specialty Products: locally handcrafted railings throughout
Telecommunications: Cat5e Ethernet Cable and RG6 Coaxial Cable
Ventilation: Aipriaire ventilation control system with Panasonic WhisperGreen wet-area exhaust fans
Water Heating: hybrid electric heat pump water heaters
Waste Management: 30,000 gallon rainwater and 40,000 gallon potable rainwater household system w/ 3 stage filtration (carbon and UV)
Window Coverings: Large porches and overhangs
Windows/Skylights/Patio Doors: Velux skylights / Andersen E-Series doors
Water Filtration: 30,000 gallon rainwater and 40,000 gallon potable rainwater household system w/ 3 stage filtration (carbon and UV)
Other: The homeowners are under contract to add onto their existing solar array currently to achieve net zero living in less than a month. Currently their home is HERS rated at 10 without the additional solar.