Houston Heights Passive House

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Houston Heights Passive House

Houston, TX

Houston Heights Passive House blends timeless charm with cutting-edge, high-performance design. Located in the historic Houston Heights district, this project features renovations to an existing family home and a new two-story back house, both centered around the family’s pool, creating a variety of spaces to host family and friends for afternoon swims and snacks as well as longer stays in the private back house.

Central to the project’s design is connectivity—the interior of the existing main house is being renovated to create a spacious entertaining area while new insulation and cladding are being added to the exterior to ensure comfort and efficiency.

Large windows in both structures offer poolside views and allow natural light to flood in, enhancing the ambiance without compromising performance, even in Houston’s hot and humid summers.

Just across the screen porch, the new two-story back house offers a versatile layout, with a 2-bedroom apartment upstairs and a studio downstairs that provides flexibility as an office, pool house, or private living space for out-of-town guests.

Incorporating Passive House design principles help prevent noise and pollutants from entering the home, while advanced mechanical systems supply continuous fresh air throughout. The addition of solar panels and backup batteries aid in shifting the peak loads on the grid, giving homeowners maximum control over their energy consumption and allowing them to manage their home effectively in any weather condition.

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Breeze Terrace

A fusion of architecture and nature, Stella Domo is a nod to the elegant simplicity of Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House, reimagined as a high-performance, go-anywhere modular home capable of enduring the harshest elements.

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Habitat Montopolis Duplex​es

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Habitat Montopolis Duplex​es

Austin, TX

The forthcoming Habitat Montopolis Duplexes will be Habitat for Humanity Austin’s inaugural duplex project, comprising six duplexes adjacent to an existing single-family Habitat neighborhood in Austin’s Montopolis area.

This project aims to support Habitat’s goal of fostering a community within a community, integrating seamlessly into the existing single-family neighborhood while maintaining cohesion and a sense of collective identity.

Designing these homes for a nonprofit partner that primarily relies on donated building materials and labor required careful consideration, balancing the goals of quality and resilience with the constraints of donated materials and ensuring the feasibility of construction by volunteer laborers.

Once construction is completed, these all-electric Zero Energy-Ready Home-certified buildings will be some of the most efficient and resilient homes in the city. Importantly, they will also be among the most affordable, providing housing for 12 families in the community.

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Stella Domo

A fusion of architecture and nature, Stella Domo is a nod to the elegant simplicity of Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House, reimagined as a high-performance, go-anywhere modular home capable of enduring the harshest elements.

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Parker Lane

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Parker Lane

Austin, TX

Located in South Austin on a site formerly occupied by a local church, Parker Apartments provides 135 affordable housing units for families, a Learning Center with 6 classrooms and a Gathering Space large enough to accommodate the church congregation, a Leasing Office, and Foundation Communities’ Health Initiatives facilities, including a food pantry. The pedestrian entry to the site is located between two existing heritage live oaks that have a prominent stature in the neighborhood streetscape. 

Although Forge Craft had employed many of the principles of Trauma-Informed Design on previous projects without knowing them as such, Parker Apartments was the first time we formally employed those principles, including peer review by Shopworks Architecture of Denver, as part of the design process. One of the results of that exploration is an open breezeway that connects the common resident program elements and locates them within sight of property management staff, allowing residents to feel comfortable and safe while doing laundry and retrieving their mail. This building also achieves a four-star AEGB (Austin Energy Green Building) rating.

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Post Oak Residence

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Post Oak Residence

Austin, TX

This major renovation/addition connects a historic bungalow in the heart of Clarksville to a small outbuilding that is rumored to have been Stevie Ray Vaughn’s drug dealer’s home for years.  The connecting volume is two stories that work around a 40″ Post Oak tree – reaching up to glorious views of the downtown skyline through the tree canopy.

Built by Camelot Custom Homes, Interiors by Studio Ferme and Homeowner 

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Cloud Kitchens

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Cloud Kitchens

Austin, TX

Cloud Kitchens is a real-estate and technology enterprise that provides economic empowerment to food operators, enabling them to outsource cook lines through a network of remote, smart modular “ghost kitchens” that partner with the many online-order and food delivery services such as UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub to name but a few.

In order to maximize its value to stakeholders, Cloud Kitchens was in critical need of a framework to inform the future of its kitchen spaces in simple, cost- and functionally-efficient designs.

Our client tasked us with the development of a modular concept to inform the future of and maximize the potential capacities in these ghost kitchens for its stakeholders. This project proved to be a creative exercise through an assemblage of volumetric modular, prefabricated and site- built components, both simple and sophisticated, into a modular solution to overcome a series of multifaceted architectural challenges driven by a difficult site and complex workflow, accessibility and code compliancies.

In close collaboration with the Cloud Kitchens team, we successfully envisioned a component-based system to manifest functional, performance-driven modular spaces that allowed our client to minimize costs and optimize their model. Our concepts fully realized represents the promise of cost-effective food delivery not only in Los Angeles but extrapolated to anywhere in the world.

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West 7th Passive House

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West 7th Passive House

Austin, TX

When it is completed later this year, Forge Craft’s West 7th Passive House is on track to become the largest certified Passive House project in the southern U.S.

Located just a stones throw away from downtown Austin, this ground-up duplex reimagines urban density while seamlessly integrating with the historic fabric of the Castle Hill Local Historic District. Most importantly, this unique property reflects the latest thinking in design and building science with the goal of creating healthier, safer, more resilient, comfortable, and energy efficient homes.

Designed to provide a spacious home for three families on a compact urban lot, the 5,000-square-foot duplex is strategically “hidden” behind a meticulously renovated historic cottage at the front, preserving the streetscape’s character. A series of overlapping private spaces within the lot have been optimized to provide each family with their own sanctuary, ensuring a sense of privacy, even on the small lot.

Beyond envisioning a Passive House-certified design, this project demands exceptional collaboration with city officials and various oversight bodies, understanding the rules for accessory dwelling units in the city, and identifying flexibility in order to achieve our vision. This collaborative approach helps ensure a successful outcome that respects the historic context while offering innovative, sustainable living solutions.

Ultimately, the West 7th Passive House duplex is poised to become a model for how density and history can beautifully coexist, enriching both the individual experience and the surrounding community.

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Builder: Form to Finish

Interiors: Studio Ferme, Kopfer Taylor

MEP Engineer: Positive Energy

Structural Engineer: Structures

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The Sasha

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The Sasha

Austin, TX

The Sasha is a vital multi-family development comprised of 60 units with permanent and transitional supportive housing on the SAFE Alliance Campus, a key organization that works to address and end multigenerational cycles of violence and abuse.

Offering one-, two-, and three-bedroom units located at a key transit corridor in Austin, this development will be key to supporting individuals and small families transitioning out of circumstances into supportive housing.

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