Award winning houses feature net-zero Texas home

Check out some of the top homes that represent the best of American residential architecture.

Fine Homebuilding magazine announced the winners of its 2015 HOUSES Awards. Each year, Fine Homebuilding asks readers to submit what they believe are the best houses in North America; from these, editors choose six homes that embody the characteristics that Fine Homebuilding values most in residential architecture.

These homes are published in the annual HOUSES issue and celebrated through extended photo galleries and inspirational design videos on

The winners of the HOUSES Awards are chosen in six categories: Best New Home, Best Remodel, Best Small Home, Best Traditional Home, Best Energy-Smart Home, and Editor’s Choice. This year’s winners include a traditional home with a modern twist in Maine; a 239-year-old Pennsylvania fieldstone farmhouse; an iconic midcentury ranch in California; a zero-energy house in Texas Hill Country; a lakeside cabin in north Idaho; and an unpretentious but meticulously crafted residence on Washington’s Orcas Island.

Best Energy Smart Home details

The rainwater collection system flows from the roof through downspouts into mesh-screened PVC pipes that connect to a 29,000-gal. storage tank downhill from the house. When a faucet is turned on or a toilet flushed, water is pumped back up to the house, where it passes through a three-stage filtration system before use. A heat-pump water heater satisfies hot-water needs. Each inch of rainfall yields about 2900 gal. of water, and despite a so-called multiyear drought condition in Texas, the tank has never dipped below about 80% of capacity.

  • Advanced framing
  • Open cell spray foam insulation.
  • R-20 2x6 walls
  • R-29 2x6 roof
  • Andersen 100 windows
  • Andersen Eagle E-Series doors
  • Huber Zip System sheathing
  • Geothermal heat pump for HVAC and water preheating
  • 7.75 kw Solar PV
  • Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) five-star rating
  • HERS Index 7

Photos by Rob Yagid © 2015, The Taunton Press, Inc.

Click on the photos below for a photo gallery and more information on each home.

Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Connected Homes / Smart Homes, GREAT GREEN HOMES, Home Design & Plans

Related Content

Latest Content

Find Us On:


Get the latest news & insights