Leed Certification
Water Efficiency

South Town Duplex


Hilary Scruggs Design LLC


San Antonio, TX


Chip Henderson



Project Goal:

The South Town Duplex was conceived as a prototype for sustainable and affordable urban living. The idea was not merely to integrate sustainable features into a contemporary-style home but create a design icon in the process, the thesis being to go beyond “eco-chic“ to create an “eco-icon“. The defining feature of the project is a diaphanous aluminum screen which envelopes the home, providing shade, security, and privacy during the day while illuminating at night. The screen conceals conventional patio doors on both floors that offer cross-ventilation as well as expansive views of downtown San Antonio. Mixing prefabricated components - like standard windows and IKEA cabinets - with simple but highly custom assemblies out of economical materials (aluminum, knotty pine plywood) - kept costs down while creating the look and feel of a fully custom home.


The LEED for Homes program helped the team structure sustainability goals into a specific but holistic strategy for achieving a truly “green” product. Beginning the process at an early stage of design allowed time for thoughtful research and exploration. The preliminary passive solar design was evaluated and revised using the LEED criteria to balance performance, cost and feasibility.

Because the project was built using a design / build approach, the durability evaluation and quality management required in the LEED rating system proved an invaluable tool to ensure a superior and enduring product. Pre-construction energy modeling indicated an energy savings of 30% over traditional construction. This gave the developer a comfort level that sustainability measures would pay off.

Some facets of the LEED for Homes program were viewed as opportunities to educate workers and shape our young company’s culture. For example, a goal was set to divert 80% of the construction waste from the landfill. While this proved to be one of the most challenging features of the project, it enabled the team to invent strategies for recycling all types of construction waste and instilled positive waste management habits.

Since water efficiency is considered a high priority in Central Texas, a greywater capture system was installed and the recovered water was used to irrigate small conventional turf areas and planting beds.

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