Spicewood, TX | New Construction

This home was designed to be a family outpost. It includes a separate guest quarters as well as huge outdoor living areas and a pool – to draw family near. The main house includes 3 Bedrooms, 3 full Baths, and a large open living space connected to a series of covered porches. The guest house contains a bed/bath suite as well as a kitchen that also serves the Cabana area.

This home has a particularly interesting story. This house was designed to be nestled into mature oak trees – only to have a tornado go directly through the site the day before framing began! Many trees were damaged or destroyed. However, the home was designed to perform well in the Texas heat whether trees were present or not…


  • Site: Rural homestead. Home placed overlooking creek and nestled into mature Live Oak trees which serve as a visual screens, passive solar devices (breezes flow through shade prior to passing through home), and space creating natural features
  • Design: multi-module design parti with shed roofs; huge north-facing porch; deep overhangs; clerestories for privacy and light
  • Building Methodology: Conventional wood framing with supplemental steel at porches; Standard-sized building materials minimize waste and costs; Continuous thermal envelope; all mechanical devices are centrally located within the envelope. Thermally broken aluminum windows and doors.
  • Durability: Exterior stucco; cementitious siding and stained wood soffits; pre-engineered wood floors throughout
  • Water strategies: water and wastewater treated on site (no energy used to pump water to or from site); Shed roof simplifies rainwater collection and is designed to contribute approximately 2800 gallons per inch of rain (future rainwater harvesting system). Low water use plumbing fixtures; tankless water heaters with circulating pumps for different living zones.
  • Mechanical System:  Properly sized, high performance heat pump systems with sealed ducts located within thermal envelope.
  • Lighting: home is designed for Daylighting; Exterior lighting design minimizes light pollution; Interior lighting is LED.
  • Power: all utilities brought onto site are buried to minimize visual impact; a large PV array provides half of the power for the entire homestead.
  • Project Team: Thoughtcrib, Inc.: Eric S. Brown, LEED AP, (design), Green Earth Engineering: Tim Zhang, P.E., LEED AP (structural); OD Custom Homes: Eric Olson & Troy Defendorf (general contractor); Lighthouse Solar (PV installer); Fine Focus Photography: Tre Dunham (photographer)