Houston’s Integral Urban Homeplace in the Heights
This eaDesign for Life™ homeplace is a Net-Zero Energy residence, with 100% Potable Harvested Rain Water, Edible Landscaping and with exquisite wood repurposed to make interior cabinets, doors, trim and trusses from home site trees damaged by hurricane Ike. It is designed for accessibility and built to be an unusually healthy, comfortable, and neighborly oasis from the stress and pollution of the inner city, and a place that demonstrates achievable sustainable living concepts. With lots of porch and private outdoor living space, it aesthetically honors the Houston Heights historic architectural roots, has a dedicated neighborhood gathering place on the property, and even creates its own cooling breezes, naturally, of course. “Houston’s Integral Urban Homeplace in the Heights” is an ENVIRONMENT ASSOCIATES private residence designed for a couple striving to live in a healthy, stress-reduced and sustainably responsible manner within Houston’s inner loop.
Designed-in attributes include calculated roof overhangs to shelter windows and glass in exterior doors to provide highly desired abundant indoor natural daylighting, and the windows open during rainstorms. The architectural design and positioning of a linear cupola allows the house to create its own breezes without using any fans or power. Breezes can also flow freely from the back yard to the front porch whenever desired without the loss of security or loss of cooled and dehumidified household air, through the normally closed and conditioned dual purpose Entry/Breezeway.
High durability and low maintenance is achieved with its extra thick fiber cement siding and walls and a heat reflective, long lasting metal roofing. Independent third party verifications include a HERS Rating of -6, registration as a Platinum LEED home, and probable certifications for Energy Star 3 & the EPA’s Indoor airPlus certification. The home has a grid-tied 12.75 kW solar PV system and two 8ooo gallon above ground rain water cisterns.
Custom architecturally designed durable back and side yard fencing provide privacy, plus openness for cooling breezes to pass through without the loss of security. Spacious porches allow the owners and guests to comfortably enjoy being outdoors even when it rains. A stately Sycamore street tree, at least 100 years old, was saved instead of destroyed as done so often during new construction in the city.