Progress Report : The Hilsabeck Residence

The Hilsabeck family desired a home adaptable for both entertaining and raising a new family. They wanted an energy efficient structure without sacrificing function or aesthetics. We drew from our experience designing Earthcraft certified buildings with passive house principles in the Mid-Atlantic and modified that approach for the southern Texas climate.

The house was designed with both passive and active principles. The passive systems include a breathable Texas smart roof design layered over a continuously insulated structural roof deck which keeps the sun’s heat from penetrating the building. Deep roof overhangs also shade the building exterior, made possible by the hybrid timber structural system. The exterior walls are designed deeper than standard and contain spray foam insulation to minimize any infiltration. Active systems include a roof-mounted solar power array with space designated for a future battery bank. This will allow the house to run with minimal loading on the electrical grid. A roof rainwater catchment system with an attached underground cistern will allow the residents to minimize their water usage and protect against drought.

To complement these systems, the home is designed with a low-maintenance exterior that utilizes cement board siding and trim with aluminum windows. The yard is designed with self-sustaining native plants. The shaded attached parking keeps family vehicles out of the south Texas sun.

The home layout is open and airy, with a second-story bridge and exposed timbered ceilings. The living room directly opens into a rear covered patio. The kitchen contains a folding bar window above the countertop for easy indoor/outdoor entertainment.  A first-floor master allows for single story living, while the multiple upstairs bedrooms/convertible bedrooms, along with a detached art studio/guest house, allow for extended visits.

Completion of the Hilsabeck Residence is slated for December 25th, 2017.

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