Certified Green Professional Builds Own Home With Bautex

Maximizing Energy Efficiency, Minimizing Maintenance

Karen Boden started Essential 3, LLC to help her clients design homes that perfectly match their indi­vid­u­al­i­ty and that were as beautiful as they were practical. As a Certified Green Pro­fes­sion­al, promoting green” building design and under­stand­ing the most eco­nom­i­cal means of achieving sus­tain­able con­struc­tion is fun­da­men­tal to her mission.

Essential 3 incor­po­rates site ori­en­ta­tion, energy effi­cien­cy, water and resource con­ser­va­tion, sus­tain­able or recycled products, and indoor air quality into our home designs. We try to consider all of these things and work with our clients to establish how green they want to go,” she says.

When it came time for Karen and her husband Jeff to design and build their own home in the rolling hills north of Wimberley, Texas, they had two main pri­or­i­ties: build sus­tain­ably and make the home as main­te­nance-free as possible. Early in the design process, Karen and Jeff decided they wanted to use Bautex insu­lat­ing concrete block (ICB) for their home. They under­stood that by using the Bautex Wall System for the exterior walls, they would maximize the energy effi­cien­cy of their home and would also benefit from having a durable and low main­te­nance home. 

Karen and Jeff wanted a builder who had expe­ri­ence building with Bautex, and so began col­lab­o­rat­ing with Khair Zaman of Z Works Design Build for the con­struc­tion of the home. Even though the owners were home designers, there was great value in working with a design-build con­trac­tor who was an architect by training and a con­trac­tor who under­stood how to get the most per­for­mance out of the Bautex Wall System.

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The residence is a one-story structure built on the north-facing slope of a hill with incred­i­ble views of the Texas hill country. The main living space is built over two large rainwater cisterns that are fully hidden and inte­grat­ed into the foun­da­tion of the home. The cisterns have a combined capacity of 35,000 gallons and provide more than enough water supply for the family for all their needs. 

Storing the water inside the home elim­i­nat­ed the need for a large, above-ground tank that would have obstruct­ed the building site. The water also serves as a tem­per­a­ture buffer, making the interior tem­per­a­tures more stable and helping to reduce the cost of heating and cooling the home through­out the year.

The home was designed to be net-zero energy ready from day one without having to make any upgrades in the future. Once the pho­to­volta­ic solar panels are installed, the owners antic­i­pate being able to provide energy back to the elec­tri­cal grid and com­plete­ly eliminate their energy charges.

Dura­bil­i­ty and low main­te­nance were top of mind when designing this home. To that end, the exterior of the Bautex walls were sealed with the Bautex AMB 20 Air and Moisture Barrier and then finished with the StuccoMax® abuse-resistant exterior wall finish system. Some portions of the exterior walls were finished with 24-gauge powder-coated metal siding panels. All of these finishes will provide decades of main­te­nance-free performance.

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Karen and Jeff still have a few years left in their pro­fes­sion­al careers, but they know that they have set them­selves up well for their future retire­ment with this high per­form­ing, lovely Texas hill country home.

Check out the rest of the Bautex website more infor­ma­tion on using the Bautex Wall System for your next home.