A new, green, custom home that has been built in Webster Grove, Missouri, is the work of Active House USA, a team of designers, builders, and materials manufacturers who are pooling their experience in environmentally conscious and sustainable building practices to construct homes around the world that utilize their Active House specifications, which combine focus on energy efficiency, healthy indoor climate, and minimal impact on the environment. To date, Active Houses are located in Portugal, Austria, Norway, UK, Italy, Netherlands, and Russia. The Webster Grove residence for the Smith family is the first Active House to be built in the United States and recently held its first open house.
This sustainable remodeling project by Alterstudio Architects renovated a 1950s-era duplex in the Hyde Park historic district of Austin, Texas, into a contemporary single-family home that is both energy-efficient and water-conserving.
The locally-made brick facades and steel casement windows of the existing structure of the Avenue G House were maintained with the addition of a second story to create two double-height spaces with opposing interior box windows upon entry into the home. A family room and loft is accessible by a glass-railed steel stairway. In the private areas of the second floor, white oak panels connect spaces that feature natural lighting and cross-ventilation. On the main floor, walnut cabinetry hides storage spaces and a powder room.
The founder of Oregon-based STUDIO-E Architecture, Jan Fillinger, is a Certified Passive House Consultant and LEED AP who has over twenty years experience in sustainable design, including the use of sustainable and non-toxic materials, integration of energy-efficient building systems, and the design of site- and climate-responsive buildings. Switzerland born and raised, with a Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, Fillinger has designed projects that have won multiple awards and incorporate environmental and social responsibility, with a primary goal of creating “harmonious and comfortable spaces in which people truly enjoy living and working.”