Building a Family’s "Forever Home"
Builder Khair Zaman of Z Works Design Build collaborated with the Dixon family from Dripping Springs, Texas to create their ‘forever’ home in the most sustainable fashion possible. The Dixons’ desire was to have a green home that would allow them to live efficiently and minimize their utility costs. They also wanted a modern and minimal design for their home that would call for very little maintenance.
Key Design Features
The Dixons were looking for a wall system that would both lend itself to the sturdiness necessary for a forever home and require minimal maintenance over time. They wanted to knock on the walls of their home and immediately feel reassured that it would not be going anywhere. They also did not want to find themselves having to continuously maintain and repaint the exterior of their home to keep it looking presentable.
Based on the location of where the Dixons wanted to build their home, it was necessary to incorporate a natural water system, such as a well or a cistern, into the build. A rainwater collection system was the ideal choice for all parties, as it provides a water quality superior to that of a drilled well. It was important to Zaman and the Dixons, though, that the water system did not detract from the overall clean and minimal aesthetic of the home. A large cistern sitting outside of the home would have inevitably had that effect.
In a state like Texas, where the weather is ever unpredictable, it was also important to the Dixons that they have top-quality insulation in their walls to keep the interior temperature of the home at a steady constant. This would not only keep their utility bills low, but it would also make for a greener and more energy efficient home, which was another major priority for the Dixons.
Z Works Design Build used the Bautex Wall System to create a resource-efficient and low maintenance home that the Dixon family will be proud to call theirs for the rest of their lives.
Low Energy Costs
Low energy bills have had a big impact on the family’s budget, hitting a peak of $120 in the heat of the summer but staying very low the rest of the year. This home is solar and net-zero ready.
The home incorporates a 20,000 gallon cistern inside the thermal envelope under the bedroom wing to provide clean and fresh water and doubles as a “thermal mass” heat sink to create more stable indoor temperature year-round.
Solid walls with durable finishes give the owners a sense of living in something that will last forever and take very little maintenance.
By using the innovative Bautex Wall System, Zaman was able to help the Dixons create their forever home. The durability of the Bautex Block will allow the walls of the home to stand up to the harshest of elements. Constructing the walls with Bautex materials also made it possible for Zaman to integrate a rain collection system within the building envelope of the structure so they would not need to have a massive cistern outside of their home.
The integrated insulation of the wall system keeps the internal temperature of their house at a constant and their energy bills low, regardless of what is going on with the weather outside. The 20,000 gallons of rainwater that are collected within structure provide further insulation, which makes this home extremely efficient.
As for the aesthetic of the home, the Bautex walls fit perfectly with the modern and minimal look the Dixons were going for. Contrary to the misconceptions that an ICF wall limits the design palette, the Dixons’ wall system is capable of being enhanced by any number of exterior finishes. The Dixons incorporated wood and metal wall finishes in several areas of the house.