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West 7th Passive House
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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