Peak Ridge – Austin, Texas
The Peak Ridge Project is a 2,400 square foot Austin Energy Green Building 5 star rated home which is featured on the 2012 Texas Solar Energy Society Cool House Tour. This project, designed by Lévy Kohlhaas, incorporates passive solar design, large overhangs, spray foam envelope insulation, high performance and clerestory windows, daylighting, galvalaume metal roofing, 3.4kw solar array with planned net zero upgrade, geothermal heating and cooling with hot water recovery, Energy Recovery Ventilator, 20,000 gallon potable rainwater system with hot water re-cirulation pump, Energy Star appliances, dual flush toilets, high efficiency lighting, circuit monitoring, stained concrete, low VOC paints and finishes, bamboo cabinets, 1,500 gallon rainwater cistern for irrigation, native landscaping, and locally harvested stone masonry.
Building a house was the hardest thing we’ve done in a long, long time. But Native made it about as easy as possible, and delivered the house we love in the end. An imaginative builder with top notch people well versed in solar, geothermal and rainwater collection and environmentally responsible building practices. And who are as interested in you getting the house you want as you are. Simply outstanding.
– Mike C. (Homeowner)
- Locally harvested stone
- Solar panels
- Advanced framing
- Natural day lighting
- Stained concrete
- Solid wood cabinetry
- Large overhangs
- Native Landscaping
- Metal Roof
- Zip walls system
- Spray foam insulation
- Solid surface flooring
- Water-based paints
- Energy star appliances
- Vent fans in every room
- Rainwater collection
- Zero Waste
- Grey water irrigation
“We wanted an environmentally friendly house that looked good and would give us very low monthly utility bills.
We wanted advanced framing, metal roof, spray insulation, and a host of other non traditional features.
We wanted a big outdoor patio and a wall of glass to look out at our backyard.
We wanted solar power, geothermal heating and cooling, and rain water as our only water source. But we didn’t want to have to be miserly with electricity.
We wanted the house to be quiet and peaceful inside, no matter what was going on outside.
We wanted someone who could follow the plans our brilliant architect made, and turn them into the house we could live in for the rest of our lives.
We chose Native and we will be forever glad we did. Lloyd, Nick, Jason and our project manager Brandon exhibited the one thing you always hope for in someone you are counting on to do something big. Integrity. That drives everything.
From the beginning our house was a challenge. We wanted as few trees cut down on our lot as was absolutely necessary to frame and complete it. Even Cedars. Crazy, I know, but that’s what we wanted, and Native went out of their way to do just that so we have a beautiful little scrub oak right at the corner of the house that must have made framing as painful as root canal bingo but they did it without saying a word.
They are the only building company in the area, and possibly in Texas, that does solar, geothermal and rain water catchment in-house. This is huge. It saves money, and saves time, which saves more money. We ended up with 3.3 KW of solar (with room for more when we add it), a 3 ton geothermal system that is so quiet it’s almost eerie (no external condenser), and a twenty thousand gallon rain water collection system complete with filtration that exceeds municipal standards. And on top of that we got innovative solutions to problems we didn’t foresee, like installing a button activated recirculation pump in our hot water line so we never run water down the drain waiting for the water to heat up, but don’t have to pay for a constant on pump when we don’t need one. We went past the deadline on windows because we wanted them to be perfect, so they worked around that until we found the ones we wanted. We added an electronics suite area for the audio/visual components at just about the last minute and they found a way to make it work and work well. They made a cool bracket so we could have the pendant light we wanted. They showed infinite patience in letting us pick the stone and the wall colors and all the other choices that you agonize over until you finally see the one you want.
There are always little things at the very end of the build, and this is where they showed just how much integrity they have. They came back to do small things like paint touchups, or a nick in wood, well AFTER the last check had been sent. In fact, they still come over and check on stuff. They truly want you to be happy with your house.
No business is perfect and building a custom house is not an assembly line process. Native did go over the deadline for completion, but I’d much rather have a builder take a little longer to do the job right than slap up anything to make deadline. There was also an issue with our floors, but they took full responsibility and fixed them to our satisfaction.
They did everything we asked of them, and more, and did it with integrity. We interviewed a dozen builders. We chose the right one.”