Texas Vineyard Hillside House
This home was designed from the ground up to be near-net zero energy efficient, with a sustainable approach to all materials and maximum coexistence with a 7.5-acre hillside property certified as a wildlife habitat, while meeting the very specific requirements of its owners around current and future livability, contemporary design, panoramic views of an adjacent vineyard, 100% rainwater collection for all water needs, and staying within a reasonable budget.
Built within a small gated community with a strong HOA and restrictive covenants that mandated “traditional Texas Hill Country” exterior design, the owners spent many months working with a local Austin architect and a near-net zero Austin builder to cooperatively design an exterior that pays homage to traditional Texas Hill Country design with a contemporary flair, with locally quarried limestone masonry, deep overhangs and porches, Galvalume metal roofing, and varying widths of HardiPlank siding – while meeting the interior requirements for soft contemporary architecture and details inside. The result is an everyday hillside retreat for its owners, with the added bonus of an Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) 5-star rating and a certified HERS 7 rating: total utilities cost for the solar PV- and heat-pump-equipped home in the hot Texas summer ran only $32 for June 2013 (including a $22 connection fee to the electrical utility, where the owners have an inverse metering agreement).
Front elevation view, facing west.
Great room, looking west.
Southern face, with wraparound deck and screen porch.
Clerestory windows in cooling tower at sunrise.
Mechanical room, with heat pump water header, holding tank, and ground-source geothermal heat pump.