A basic builder’s 1970s ranch-style home was propelled into the 21st century with a complete makeover.

The owners were looking to buy a house near family members that could be completely reconfigured to their desire for a high performance, sustainable and comfortable home. They chose a modest house with a series of rooms clustered around a sunken living space that lacked any connection to the outside. It was dark, the windows leaked both air and water, and the exterior was deteriorating.

The architect and builder team transformed the confined and outdated spaces into an open and elegant sustainable home. The living room was filled in, interior walls were removed, and a former rear addition was replaced with an outdoor living space. Passive solar design required deep overhangs and the screened-in porch to protect from heat gain — the large windows let in abundant natural light. Moving the fireplace from the interior to the porch improved indoor air quality. The passive fresh air intake keeps the house at positive pressure. The steep drop to the creek became a terraced backyard, creating an inviting space for outdoor entertaining. LED lighting, a high-efficiency variable refrigerant flow heat pump and an induction cooktop were chosen to increase energy savings. With the installation of a solar PV array, this all-electric home used only $230 worth of grid power over the past year.

Located at 9430 Spring Hollow Drive | 78750

Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture
Alan Barley, Peter Pfeiffer and Matt Hart

Ray Tonjes Builder, Inc.
Ray Tonjes

Air Rite By Design Inc.
Gilbert Rosipal


CCB Designs
Chris Browarski

Botanical Concerns LLC
Annie Paulson Gillespie

Austin Energy Program Participant
5-star Austin Energy Green Building rating

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