Front walkway

Covered porch

Leed Certification
Innovation and Design

Leon Springs Residence


Private Residence


Leon Springs, TX

LEED Consultant:

Chip Henderson


Green Rater:

Project Goal:

Black Creek is a residence for a professional couple that wanted their last home to achieve the highest level of energy and water efficiency. The clients wanted a sustainable home that celebrated the outdoors, used local materials, had healthy indoor air quality and provided room for their guests, both young and old. A major project goal was to reduce the energy consumption required to occupy the residence by employing both passive and active strategies. There are three main structures that combine to create several outdoor spaces where the clients enjoy morning coffee, outdoor meals and relaxation. The home sits lightly on a sloped site, taking advantage of great views and solar orientation. The roofs slope with the site, creating a low profile and allowing rainwater to naturally feed the home’s 17,000-gallon collection system. In addition, the client's wanted a home that had minimal impact, both inside and out.


This residence was designed to minimize its impact on the natural environment in many ways. All interior spaces incorporate daylighting and cross ventilation strategies. By reducing the need for artificial lighting, cooling loads are also reduced and overall occupant comfort increased. The home is designed to avoid solar thermal gain during the summer and capture passive solar heating during the winter. These features, along with the use of expanding foam insulation, minimize the need for mechanical heating and cooling.

The carbon footprint is further reduced with the use of a 12 kilowatt-hour photovoltaic array to produce electricity and a ground source heat pump which provides efficient heating and cooling as well as the majority of the home’s domestic hot water. The design relies on a variety of regional and low embodied energy materials such as locally quarried Leuders limestone, mesquite flooring, FSC plywood, and fly-ash concrete. High performance windows help the home to retain its heat in winter, and remain cool in summer. Rainwater is collected from the roofs and provides all of the home’s potable water needs. Initial irrigation needs are being provided by city water but once the drought tolerant landscape has been established, the clients’ goal is to have net zero water use.

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