This sustainable remodeling project byÂ 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.
â€œIn an area of town where the houses are all made up of a collection of small rooms, entering into this home is radically different,â€ said Kevin Alter, one of three Alterstudio partners, in anÂ interview with EcoBuilding Pulse. Â â€œThe house is now spatially open and dynamic, with sight lines going all the way through, and up into two double-height spaces, all filled with natural light.â€
Sustainable features include Energy Star-rated windows, use of SFI-certified engineered lumber and low- and zero-VOC paint, a ground-source heat pump, Austin Water Conservation-certified toilets, abundant air sealing, and insulation that exceeds requirements of the Austin energy code. The mechanical systems and ductwork are located within theÂ thermal enclosure and features a high-efficiency HVAC filter. Bathroom exhaust fans are connected to a timer and humidistat. A rainwater-harvesting system redirects roof runoff to a catchment system.
Alterstudio Architecture LLP of Austin, Texas maintains a â€œcommitment to enhance and protect both the cultural and natural environments of the communitiesâ€ for which it builds projects with a focus on long-term sustainability, promoting â€œan ecological approach that acknowledges the impact of finite resources as a positive contributor in the creation of an ethical architectureâ€ while being â€œuplifting to its users and in harmony with its cultural context and natural surroundings.â€ The firm has won over sixty design awards.