The Westridge Residence represents the intersection of inspiring design and exceptional sustainability. Built for a family of four, the design focuses on two compact structures—a main house and detached garage with a guest apartment—linked by a trellis of rebar suspended in a natural catenary curve.
The home was designed to enable and enhance harmonious living, with the intent to create a space where interaction with the outdoors is at the crux of daily life. Situated on the flattest portion of a wooded, sloping site, the residence basks in natural light and enjoys a sense of openness. Every space was designed to have a unique connection to the outdoors: large windows in every room; a sheltered open-air deck on the upper level; and an expansive outdoor deck flanked by the pool and lawn.
The main house contains an open living/dining/kitchen area and master suite on the ground floor. A wooden staircase leads to the upper floor, which houses two bedrooms, a playroom with a kitchenette, small media room, exercise/meditation space (convertible to another bedroom), and an open-air deck. The detached guest house includes an open-air carport, workshop, and storeroom on the lower level, with a home office and guest apartment above.
The two buildings are linked by an Ipei deck that runs parallel to a 40-foot long swimming pool. Overhead spans the home's most distinctive design feature: a canopy of closely-space 1/2" rebar strands that shades the outdoor spaces while visually completing the curving rooflines of the main and guest houses.
The home uses 22% less energy compared to a baseline case study. A 6.8-kiloWatt rooftop photovoltaic system generates nearly 40% of the home's total annual energy usage, and a geothermal system handles all heating and cooling. During construction, 83% of waste by weight was recycled or salvaged.
The deck that connects the two structures conceals five 2,000-gallon rainwater storage tanks. The collected rainwater is used for irrigation and to compensate for seasonal evaporative loss in the swimming pool. Inside, high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances reduce the amount of potable water used by the owners for everyday activities. Water use is further reduced by a landscape approach utilizing over 100 native species that were chosen to complement and enrich the 1.3-acre site’s native prairie and woodland species.
5 Stars, Austin Energy Green Building