Hemlock ADU

Austin, TX | New Construction & Renovation

Designed to sit on top of an existing garage, this ADU is a “tree house” connected to the primary residence via a covered bridge. The ADU complements the existing residence, but more boldly expresses its mass. Another deliberate result of the massing is the creation of covered and shaded spaces.

In addition to the ADU, work was done at the primary residence to clarify spaces – front yard + entry, second-story terrace, back yard – in order to maximize connection and spaces between the two buildings.


  • Site: Urban lot with existing primary residence & garage
  • Design: Addition of second story ADU over existing garage; simple massing with deliberate articulation conforms to building tent requirements, creates cover over garage and new entry doors; large shed roof provides cover over new exterior stair and cantilevered balcony; cross-ventilation; reflective and emissive Galvalume roof
  • Building Methodology: Conventional wood framing with engineered lumber to create large roof overhangs / balcony cantilever; steel stair and bridge construction; Standard-sized building materials minimize waste and costs; Continuous thermal envelope (foam); all mechanical devices are centrally located within the envelope; Thermally broken aluminum windows.
  • Durability: Hardiplank siding; stained wood soffits; engineered wood and tile floors throughout; recycled content composite porch and bridge deck.
  • Mechanical System:  Properly sized, high performance mini-split heat pump system
  • Lighting: home is designed for Daylighting; Exterior lighting design minimizes light pollution; Interior lighting is LED.
  • Power: a large solar PV array was designed and installed for roof of primary residence.
  • Project Team: Bishop Architects, Brian Bishop, AIA (architect-of-record); Thoughtcrib, Inc.: Eric S. Brown, LEED AP (design); Green Earth Engineering: Tim Zhang, P.E. (structural engineer); North Loop Builders: Daniel Kumburis (general contractor); Lighthouse Solar (PV installer)