Project Portfolio: Robinhood Residence

Excited to share professional photos from our Robinhood Residence, our latest home in Austin’s Tarrytown Neighbodhood!

 

Our Robinhood Residence is a two story, new construction home located on a corner lot in the Tarrytown Neighborhood of Austin, TX. The white masonry clad residence is deftly woven into both the network of mature oak trees surrounding the site and with the natural grade which falls from the street diagonally through the lot. The house is designed with a substantial ground floor principal suite which culminates in both a vaulted principal bath and vaulted principal bedroom looking out to the rear yard. The second floor frames views into the mature tree canopy on site and hosts two additional bedrooms and a second living space. Interior spaces flow gracefully between programmatic elements punctuated by warm material selections and ample natural daylight.  Photos: Paul Finkel, Piston Design

GC: Risher Martin Fine Homes | Interior Selections: Essential Elements Interiors | Landscape Architects: Thompson + Hanson

Robinhood Residence Portfolio Link  |  Robinhood Residence Architectural Video

CRA’s Aquaverde Residence featured in Austin Home Magazine, Summer 2020 Issue

So excited to have our Aquaverde Residence featured in Austin Home’s Summer 2020 Issue!  This is a really fun project with some adventurous & creative clients and  we’re excited to share it with a broader audience.  See more photos of the project on our website and read the digital article here.

From the article: “They really nailed the aesthetic, and you begin to appreciate all the details starting from the second you walk inside,” Kim says. “I was as excited for the laundry room and mudroom as I was for the main spaces like the kitchen and dining room.”  “We absolutely loved working with Ed and April,” Kim says. “Because they are husband and wife, it really felt like we were working on a team project, and we really appreciated both of their perspectives.”   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Portfolio: AquaVerde Residence

Excited to share finished pictures from our AquaVerde Residence overlooking Lake Austin!

Our Aqua Verde Residence Project transformed a traditional house into a modern, 21st century home. With past century finishes and an archaic configuration that stymied spatial interaction and expansive views, the house required a thorough rethinking. The principal maneuver established a transversal axis, creating communication amongst the three principal communal spaces of the house: living, dining and kitchen. This intervention also allowed for greater appreciation of the river below and hills beyond. Furthermore, private spaces were rearranged and updated to provide comfort, luxury and spatial efficiency. On the second floor a new ample game room added square footage to the existing house.

GC: Renovation by Glauser Building Company and Landscape and Exterior Spaces by Owner GC

AquaVerde Residence Portfolio Link

 

CRA’s B-Austin Project released as an Austin Energy Green Building Case Study!

 

We are honored that our B-Austin multi-use project has been released as a case study for the Austin Energy Green Building program! The AEGB has been a highly successful sustainable building program for Central Texas since 1990, cultivating innovation in building and transportation for the enrichment of the community’s environmental, economic, and human well-being. B-Austin achieved a 4-Star rating featuring on-site solar, grey water harvesting, urban farming, integrated wellness, and much more. See our website for further information!

 

Long Champ Outdoor Living Receives both SW Regional and National 2019 NARI CoTY Awards

Excited to announce that Our Longchamp Outdoor Living project has been awarded both the SW Regional and National 2019 NARI CoTY Award for the Best Detached Residential Structure.  Congratulations to the all the award winners, especially from our Austin NARI Chapter, and a big thanks to our clients and the build team including Jon Kaplan at Build Works LLC for bringing this compelling design to life. #CotY2019

CRA’s B Austin Community Project receives 2018 Austin Green Award

We’re both humbled and honored that our B Austin Community Project received a 2018 Austin Green Award at last week’s Awards Celebration. Now in its third year, the Austin Green Awards recognizes inspirational green building, landscape, and infrastructure projects in Central Texas. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and we also wanted to thank all our team members for their hard work on this project including:

Arch Consulting (Structural Engineering), DBR (Mechanical Engineering), Water Renu (Graywater Design and Installation), Speir Innovations (Solar), Ben Goins with BPG Construction (Construction Management) and most importantly to our amazing clients, Will, Janice and Gray Godwin of B Austin Communities.

See more about this inspiring sustainable development on our website link below:  B Austin Community Portfolio Link

2018 Austin Green Awardees

 

CRA Receives (2) 2017 Regional NARI CoTY Awards!

clark-richardson-nari-coty-award-2017

Honored to have two CRA projects receive 2017 Regional NARI Coty Awards for both Residential Additional and Entire House Renovation / Addition last week! The South Central region consists of 8 states including AR, AZ, TX, OK, NM, MS, LA and NV. Thanks also to AR Lucas and Steve Wareing / Phillip Just, GC’s for each project.

See more about these two projects on our website.

Project Portfolio: Goldenwood Residence

Goldenwood Main House

Excited to share some pictures and an architectural video from our Goldenwood Residence;  a whole house renovation and addition to an existing home in Driftwood, TX .  The scope consisted of a complete interior gut of the existing kitchen, living and dining room, the addition of a new master suite at the ground level and a new landscaped entry concept at the front facade. The project reinvents the Texas vernacular with a clean modern aesthetic including custom built Pecan French Doors throughout, oil finished FSC certified white oak floors and limestone fireplaces.

See also our Goldenwood guest house for the first phase of this project.

Goldenwood Residence Architectural Video

Goldenwood Residence Portfolio Link

1.02.2017 Post Update: See our this project featured on the international style and architecture blog, Nonagon Style linked below:

http://nonagon.style/goldenwood-residence-home-tour-clark-richardson/

 

 

 

Solar Case Study: Single Family House

In honor of Earth Day today we hope to provide you with an informative post regarding Solar in Residential use.  Happy Earth Day Y’all!

solar panels 1

Solar Case Study: Single Family House

by John Vesel

Austin TX, 6.75kW Photovoltaic Array installed January 2015

Electric Utility: Austin Energy

 In January 2016 we completed our 12th billing cycle as a solar power generating household. The figures are in, but first a rundown of the situation:

1518sf Single Family Home

3 bed / 2 bath; 2 car garage

Constructed 2004

Located in Southeast Austin

Oriented with East-West axis*

Subsidized & Financed

*Crucially, our house is constructed with a long hipped roof with the main ridgeline running almost exactly East-West. This means our largest roof surface is facing South. There are no trees that interfere and the two-story house to our South does not shade any portion of the roof. This existing situation allowed for the easiest possible setup. This was confirmed by the installer when they measured the roof surface and calculated the sun angles. The most helpful terms to know are that kW = Kilowatt which is a measure of energy (1000 watts); kWh = Kilowatt hour which is a measure of power, or, energy over time.

Our solar installer recommended a few different options for solar panel modules. We chose a 270W base panel. During our research, we found that solar panels typically lose about .5% of their production capability a year, but there are still productive panels that were made during the early years of photovoltaic power. We also chose to install a micro-inverter with each module. This is a more expensive option than connecting a single inverter to the entire system, but we felt it was more advantageous. A single inverter system is like an old strand of Christmas lights – if one light goes out, they all go out. With micro-inverters, we could insure that if one panel was shaded or malfunctioning for some reason, then only that panel would be affected instead of the entire system. Inverters are required to convert the DC power generated by the photovoltaic process into the AC power used by the power grid. We had to connect to the grid to receive the Austin Energy solar subsidy.

solar panel 1

 

We chose a 25 panel 6.75kW system capable of producing about 9,000kWh annually. They cover about 443sf of roof area and are built to withstand the elements. Since there are no moving parts, there isn’t a whole lot that can go wrong, outside of a cloudy day, and both the panels and inverters are warrantied for 25 years.

Our system is barely noticeable from the street, only just peaking above the roof. We did inform our HOA, and they were all for our addition. According to our installer, once one house installs, the rest of the neighborhood tends to popcorn as the benefits become known.

The installation process only took a few days. Stanchions were lapped beneath the existing asphalt tile shingles and locked to the existing trusses. These connect to tracks which hold the panels. A single encased electrical line runs down the other side of the roof to the electric meter. We now have two meters from Austin Energy: one tabulates our production; one tabulates consumption. Readings occur as usual with the consumption figure less the production figure.

Enphase-1

The system is linked to an app that I love to check each night. The above graph displays each day’s production for the past year, the brighter the blue, the greater the production. Our highest production value for a single day was 43.7kWh and our worst was under 1kWh. July was a great solar production month this year, hardly any clouds! Below is an 18 day period broken down by hour. Production is updated every 15 minutes. You can definitely see how sun angle increases production at midday before tapering off, or when a bank of clouds moves through.

Enphase-2

 

The app does a variety of things, but my favorite is a comparison of your production to more relatable terms. For instance, on our best day, our system produced enough energy to power and light the Eiffel Tower for 13 minutes. In our first year, we offset the same amount of CO2 as 172 newly planted trees!

We had only been in our house for a couple of months when we began the install process, so the system was sized based on average consumption for similar houses in our neighborhood. Austin Energy deducts our generation from our consumption at each reading with any excess generation becoming a credit. This means that the system can build up a buffer account credit during high-generation summer months which then evens out during less productive winter months. We have yet to pay beyond our account credit.

Our system cost, including installation, was a little over $1,000 per panel. Both the City of Austin and the Federal Government currently provide subsidies to help private owners become solar generators. Both subsidies were for 30% of our retail cost and then the remainder was financed. It is important to note that the Federal subsidy takes into account local aid before calculating the rebate. Our installer coordinated everything although our actual loan is via third party that specializes in such financing with typical rates at about 3% for solar loans. The Austin Energy subsidy was paid directly to the installer and the Federal subsidy was included in our tax return as a Renewable Energy credit. There is a per-year cap to that amount so we will have some carryover to this year’s return.

Since the Federal subsidy came well after our system became operation, we ended up with two parallel loans. One loan was more of an IOU intended to be paid by the Federal return amount. We had 1 year, interest free, to pay that loan in full which we did. The second loan was for the remainder of the system retail price. Typical solar loans are for 12 years, but 7 year and 30 year options were also available. We chose the 7 year loan option at just under 3% interest. Our house does not have gas, and the impact of this payment is like having a large electric bill every month. Aside from being able to look forward to the end date, now only 6 years out, we also have a set payment that we can always plan on rather than a variable use-based payment.

7 Year Financing Cash Flow-1

As you can see, we project to break even on the system at about 10 years. Going solar also fixes the rate at which Austin Energy compares our production to our use, so if rates go up, so does our rate of savings. Lastly, while the hard value added to the home has already boosted our investment value, the solar addition is exempt from property tax calculations.

Project Portfolio: Zilker Residences

Zilker Residences Project PortfolioMG9C0381

We’re excited to share these beautiful photos and video from our Zilker Residences.  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