Project Portfolio: Zilker Residences

Zilker Residences Project PortfolioMG9C0381We’re excited to share these beautiful photos and video from our Zilker Residences completed with Tim McCabe of McCabe Development.   This contemporary architectural design, located just blocks from the Barton Springs Pool and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, features two residences in the heart of Austin’s Zilker Neighborhood. Both units open out to private landscaped interior courtyards as well as second floor balconies with views to downtown. The exterior material palette consists of a vertical standing seam siding contrasted against a white washed, vertical cypress tongue and groove siding.

Thanks to Paul Bardagjy for the lovely photos, Susannah Blanton for the great staging work at Unit A.

Zilker Residences Project Portfolio

Zilker Residences Unit B Project Video

Zilker Residences Unit A Project Video

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Calculating Areas for COA’s 2014 Fire Flow Requirements for Residential Buildings

With the explosion of prices for land in the Austin area we have seen folks looking to build out as much as they can with either a larger single family home maxing out the FAR or by building a two family home or duplex on a larger property.  With this increase in density came an increase in concern regarding safety especially where fires are concerned.  To respond to this concern the city implemented a requirement for fire-flow pressures (gallons per minute that water comes out of a nearby fire hydrant).  This ensures that in the event of a fire, the fire department will have the resources to put the fire out efficiently. This new requirement can be a bit tricky to meet however, especially when building a two family home.  A licensed Architect will navigate these sections of the code when designing your home but we find that some folks are interested in what goes into this special new requirement and what it might mean to their new home design so we have listed some of the basics here.


‘Beginning in January 2014, the City of Austin began to formally review for the fire-flow requirement for houses larger than 3600 SF. Fire-flow for residential construction varies based upon size and construction type (see Table B105.1, 2012 International Fire Code) If a property does not have the required fire-flow, the code allows for alternate methods of compliance including the installation of sprinklers or an increase in the fire rating of the construction.’

– Excerpt from AIA Austin Advocacy

To see if your new home(s) will trigger this requirement the area must be determined – the “Fire Flow Area”. The fire flow area calculation comes from the 2012 International Fire Code Section B104 , copy pasted below and is a different area metric from both FAR, building coverage or GSF that’s used in other City of Austin calculations:

B104.1 General.The fire-flow calculation area shall be the total floor area of all floor levels within the exterior walls, and under the horizontal projections of the roof of a building, except as modified in Section B104.3.

B104.2 Area separation. Portions of buildings which are separated by fire walls without openings, constructed in accordance with the International Building Code, are allowed to be considered as separate fire-flow calculation areas.

Here’s the section that drives the 3600 s.f. trigger (For years, Austin Water Utility sized SF residential area water mains to deliver minimum 1000 gpm):

B105.1 One- and two-family dwellings. The minimum fire-flow and flow duration requirements for one- and two-family dwellings having a fire-flow calculation area that does not exceed 3,600 square feet (344.5 m2) shall be 1,000 gallons per minute (3785.4 L/min) for 1 hour. Fire-flow and flow duration for dwellings having a fire-flow calculation area in excess of 3,600 square feet (344.5m2) shall not be less than that specified in Table B105.1.

Exception: A reduction in required fire-flow of 50 percent, as approved, is allowed when the building is equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system.


If it is found that you meet the size requirements and the Fire Flow rates are not sufficient in your neighborhood the City of Austin allows the following alternative compliance measures.

If you don’t meet the fire flow rates for a larger single family you are required to install a sprinkler system.  If you don’t meet them for two family residences the City requires that you increase the rating of the area separation wall to two hours as an alternative method of compliance.



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CRA Takes Home 3 NARI Awards for 2014

Clark Richardson Architects 2014 NARI Awards

We are excited to announce that CRA took home three awards at last night’s 2014 Austin NARI Awards Ceremony.  Our Hyde Park Residence received both the Green Project Award and a Best Entire House Renovation Project Award; while our Barton Creek Pool Cabanas took home the Best Commercial Landscape Project Award.

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On the Boards: SAMdorosa Communities

Scene 3_Final

Located in an up and coming area of South Austin, we have been working on a new mixed use project. The dynamic concept for the project is “Intentional Living” similar to a co-housing. This project is aiming to take advantage of the excess capacities of overlapping programs and shared uses fostering a more sustainable lifestyle amongst its 14 residential suites. The roughly 20,000-22,000sqft mixed use complex in Austin, Texas will be wood frame construction, three stories made up of apartments, amenity spaces and leasable white box offices. The main apartment building cluster will have space designated for a solar array and integrated water harvesting onsite. There will be also be an amenity space designated for gatherings, exercising, lectures etc. The complex is to be designed to meet Austin Energy Green Building 4 Star Certification.

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CRA project awarded ‘Best of Tour’ from 2013 NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes

NARI Austin 2013_Best of Tour AwardWe are excited to announce that our Ave D Residence was awarded the prestigious ‘Best of Tour’ award by Austin NARI last night as part of the 2013 NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes. A panel of judges consisting of both architects and builders visited each of the 10 Tour homes looking to identify the entry they believed had the best workmanship, attention to detail, design quality, and presented the best overall ‘tour experience.’ Thanks to our client for graciously opening her home for this event and Lawrence Huisman for doing a fantastic job on the construction.

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On the Boards: Cherry Lane Renovation / Addition

Some progress images from this contemporary renovation / addition to a 1930’s residence on a beautiful shaded lot in Austin’s Tarrytown neighborhood.

Austin Tarrytown Renovation / Addition

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On the Boards: Rollingwood Residence

Some progress design images of our renovation / addition to this great mid-century modern residence in Rollingwood.

Rollingwood Residence

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