Furman + Keil Architects' North Peak House is an incredibly healthy home designed to maximize indoor air quality, energy efficiency and sustainability. Located in Austin, Texas, the home goes above and beyond the Austin Energy Green Building standards with a score of 207 out of the 165 required points. One of the owners is a professor of environmental health economics at the University of Texas, so every single material in the home was carefully analyzed to ensure a healthy living environment.
The two-story North Peak House is located at the edge of a neighborhood bordered by sloping woodlands on the south and an open field to the north. Built with regionally sourced limestone, on-site boulders and sustainably-sourced wood, the home is situated for passive solar design and it utilizes deep overhangs for shading, operable windows for natural ventilation, and it’s heated and cooled with geothermal heat pumps. The owners are both professors at the University of Texas and one of them used the house as a research lab to learn more about healthy indoor air quality in homes. Working with Furman + Keil , she scrutinized each product to ensure that nothing harmful would come into her home.
The project received 207 out of 165 points through the Austin Energy Green Building program and it eschews VOCs, formaldehyde and carpeting. Local and sustainably sourced products are used throughout including bamboo flooring, concrete & recycled glass countertops, reclaimed wood, and sustainably harvested decking. A high-reflectance standing seam metal roof is prepped for the addition of a photovoltaic system, and the envelope was tightly sealed and insulated to minimize energy loss.
Images ©Casey Dunn Photography