ABBOTT HOUSE
Sustainable Hill Country style Texas home
This sophisticated country home began life as the "Behind the Walls" house for the National Association of Homebuilders convention where it was structurally assembled, but left unfinished, to show how homes should be built to be durable, environmentally friendly, and very low in utility costs.
After it was disassembled, then reassembled and finished by Enviro Custom Homes in Frisco, Texas, a Dallas suburb, it gave another national boost to sustainability as a ten-page feature in HOME Magazine. With four bedroom spaces, many of which can be evolutionary as needs of a family change, and three full baths and a powder room, the home highlights needs of the new century family. Some of the original, artistic features included an office near the front door; a Nanny Quarters, or guest quarters, over the garage; top-of-the-line Kraft maid Cabinets; Kohler fixtures; Marvin Low-E, argon-filled wood windows; a meditation garden with an inlaid wall sculpture and fountain; and a peek-a-boo porch for children. Also included are a geothermal heating/cooling system with geothermal hot water, heat-recovery ventilator, composter, and solar electric panels.
The photovoltaic (solar electric) array, upper left, provides 980 watts of power. On a peak sunlight day, it will produce 5.6 Kwh of power as back-up, through a sealed battery system in the attic, for any power failures. The rainwater collection tank shown behind the garage, holds 550 gallons and filled in one week from just the garage surface. It waters the fully sustainable, xeriscaped landscaping.