Water tanks

Leed Certification
Water Efficiency

Sustainable Concept House


Griz & Karen Adams


Boerne, TX

LEED Consultant:

Chip Henderson



Green Rater:

Project Goal:

An aggressive residential project, the Sustainable Concept House in Boerne is situated on a half-acre infill lot in the middle of a large hill country resort that had been established nearly 20 years ago. The idea was to employ 'practical sustainability' as dictated by the homeowners, but still meet the requirements of the HOA and create a structure that looked at home in this resort setting. Using traditional construction methods and materials that area subcontractors already employed, the architect, builder and team leaders from Contects outlined high-performance tools and technologies to achieve the highest levels of water and energy efficiency. Superior indoor air quality was also a major goal, as two family members suffer from asthma and allergies, so use of organic materials, no and low VOC paints, adhesives and insulation, along with reuse of materials were utilized.


The key to achieving Platinum for this project was a combination of common sense passive solar principles perfectly integrated by architect Ben Adam, while utilizing five big technologies: whole house water harvesting system for all water usage; vertical closed loop geothermal system for heating and cooling; gray water reuse coupled with subsurface capillary irrigation for outdoor landscaping; solar water heating and a superior insulation/window package. The result – an off the grid house, for water, in a drought-prone area of Texas and an average electric bill of $150 for over 3,500 square feet. The huge water harvesting tanks needed to be out of sight because of HOA policies, so the two, 20,000-gallon Xerxes tanks were buried on-site with use of Grundfos pumps. A Solahart passive solar water heater was used, Kohler low-flow fixtures and appliances from Miele, aid in water conservation. Optima formaldehyde-free insulation was blown into 2x6 walls and Pella windows were used. Interior reuse materials that do not off-gas include Cypress wood in the kitchen for cabinetry; long leaf pine flooring salvaged from an old warehouse and beaded board reclaimed from Texas farmhouses for interior walls. With a combination of no VOC products, wood reuse, clean insulation and an Energy Recovery Ventilator, the indoor air quality is superior.

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