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Design of a Sustainable House for Residents of a Colonia in South Texas
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This paper reviews the process of designing a site-specific sustainable home for a family in a colonia near Laredo, Texas. The home's design derives from discussions with the family, the constraints of the narrow site, and the incorporation of sustainable materials and building practices. Sustainable features include utilizing straw bale infill, exploiting natural lighting and ventilation, positioning the HVAC ductwork inside the conditioned space, and employing appropriately sized overhangs. In addition, the selection of materials and construction methods encourages family and community participation. Three cisterns were integrated into the design to harvest scarce rainwater. Results from heliodon modeling were used to assure the appropriate amount of overhang shading on the south facade during hot summer months.
Schoenemann, T. J.; Haberl, J. S.; Hill, R. C. (2002). Design of a Sustainable House for Residents of a Colonia in South Texas. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from