Having owned other sustainably built homes, the homeowners chose an architect experienced with green building practices. The home’s narrow lot posed many challenges to building a one-story structure. Impervious cover and setback restrictions along with tree root zone concerns ultimately dictated a two-story house with a detached garage workshop and apartment.

Designing for Austin’s climate is evident in the material and system selections. The metal roof’s orientation maximizes solar exposure for the 8.8kW solar array. Deep overhangs combined with fixed window awnings protect the interior from the summer sun while allowing direct sun exposure in the winter. Operable windows bring prevailing breezes in through the first floor and expel warmer air out via the stairwell and second floor windows. Abundant natural lighting is augmented with LED lighting that illuminates rooms in the evening, highlights the owners’ art collection and saves energy. The home’s mechanical systems include a ducted multi-split system with variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioning, a whole-house dehumidifier and a mechanical ventilation system regulated by time, temperature and humidity.

Aging in place elements and connection to nature are also featured here. Wide hallways allow for easy maneuvering throughout the house, the large downstairs shower is easily accessed and a covered ramp leads from the mud room to the garage.  Native and low-water landscaping make the most of western Travis County’s thin soils and Austin’s sporadic rainfall.

McCarty Lane is narrow and parking is tight. Looks for signs, drive safely and be alert when walking to the home.

JM/Bennett Architects
Joe Bennett

A.R. Lucas Construction
Adam R. Lucas

Bowne Electric
Bob Bowne

Wilson Plumbing
Terry Wilson

Positive Energy
Miguel Walker

NATiVE Solar
Lloyd Lee

Austin Energy Program Participant
5-star Austin Energy Green Building rating
Solar Photovoltaics (PV) Incentive