The Sustainable Design Center

Bio-regionally Appropriate Architecture Collaboration and Planning for a Cleaner, Healthier Planet

Rohlich Addition

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Firm: Benjamin C. Obregon Architect

Project Status: Completed in Jan. 2003

Project Description: 540 s.f. addition (300 s.f. living, 240 s.f. covered porch) to an existing 800 s.f. central Austin home. The clients goals were to upgrade the Kitchen from a 6 by 8 foot cubby to a full size modern kitchen while also increasing the size and functionality of the Dining Room. In addition, they wanted to add a Utility Room and Master Bathroom, increase closet space and upgrade to central heat and air. The solution was to add a 12 foot deep addition across the full width of the rear of the house. The existing wall separating the Kitchen and Dining Areas was removed. A new wood floor (to match the existing wood in the Dining and Living Rooms) was added to the former Kitchen Area and the space was added to the Dining Room. A new Kitchen was added behind the enlarged Dining Room with a breakfast bar separating the two. The triple windows above the kitchen sink are framed by the existing arched opening as you look at them from the Living Room. They open up the home, allow flow through ventilation, and serve as a pass-through area for entertaining on the new covered porch-which can be enclosed in the future if the owners so desire. The plumbing for the Utility Room, Master Bath and water heater is centralized to minimize complexity and cost. An existing hall connecting the bedrooms was closed off and turned into a W.I.C. for the Master Bedroom. Additional closet-space and a fold-down ironing board were added in the Utility Room.

The homes energy efficiency was upgraded by adding a spray on radiant barrier to the existing and new roof decking, 12 inches of blown cellulose insulation to the attic, a 12 SEER HVAC system and Pella, double hung, double pane, wood clad windows at all new locations. In addition, low-flow plumbing fixtures and a horizontal axis clothes washer help conserve water.