Modern Texas Prefab

Aamodt / Plumb Architects as Architects

Prefab Technology Combines withTraditional Japanese Craft in This Relaxed Modern Austin Home


Aamodt / Plumb was commissioned to design a home for a young family on a beautiful site on Lake Austin with only one catch: an incredibly compressed 12-month schedule. “12 months is extremely fast!” notes Aamodt. “Twelve months made us realize that we had to think very differently about how to do this project. What we did was to redesign the process of building a house.”


The architects built a complete Building Information Model (BIM) of the home in Revit before any construction happened. Then, to meet the tight schedule the young architects employed fast-tracking techniques typically used on large-scale projects and adapted them to the residential context where tolerances are much more demanding. They worked with Bensonwood, a high-tech sustainable timber company, to manufacture panelized sections of the housein their factory off-site. At the same time, all of the site-work and foundation work was performed on-site by Austin’s high-performance builder Risinger Homes. This significantly reduced the amount of time to construct the building envelope. Matt Risinger of Risinger homes commented: “We were able to frame the house in just two weeks. That’s pretty incredible for a 6,000 square foot custom home.” The factory fabrication also meant that the envelope of the house fit together so well that the house was approaching passive energy standards with no additional measures. The architects were left with an air-tight envelope and fully complete site-work in the same amount of time that a normal house might have had only the site-work or foundations completed.


The house itself has an airy, relaxed feel that matches perfectly with the relaxed Austin vibe. Spaces blend with one another and views outside and to the lake beyond bring nature into the house.The house is divided into two wings: a private wing for the family to sleep and work in, and a public wing for dining, entertaining, and recreation. The split massing of the house allowed the architects topreserve all of the trees on the site and the house nestles around a mature live oak treewhich adds to a sense of privacy and connection to nature.


On the exterior of the house, the high performance timber panels are clad in ShouSugi Ban charred Cyprus, an ancient Japanese method of preserving woodby charring and cooling the wood. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPhyfP-qMM4The black finish of the charred Cyprus is offset by a lightweight white steel roof that efficiently reflects the rays of the Texas sun away from the house keeping it cool during the summer months.


The architects, their builder, and fabricator deployed a novel use of prefabrication technology, and interior planning and organization, and traditional techniques to execute a high-end custom home that feels comfortable and effortless in a record amount of time.


Modern Texas Prefab

Bensonwood as Manufacturers

High-tech sustainable timber company Bensonwood collaborated with architects Aamodt-Plumb to design, fabricate, transport, erect and built the high-performance wall and roof panels for this highly-insulation modern prefab building in Texas.


Bensonwood employs a unique off-site fabrication/on-site assembly process, coupled with their panelized roof, wall and enclosure systems. This allows for very close tolerances and high standards under tightly controlled conditions. Typically, these weather tight shells are built in the manufacturer’s facilites and transported to site, with the shells fully erected in a week to ten days. The result: ultra-tight, highly insulated homes, schools and buildings, requiring little energy to operate. Most buildings constructed in this manner are built to “net-zero ready”, LEED, passive house or Living Building Challenge standards. More from the Manufacturer:


For this modern design in Austin, TX, our architect partners Aamodt-Plumb contracted with us to provide the home's heavy timbers, and to design, fabricate, transport, erect and build the high-performance wall and roof panels and highly-insulated building shell on this project.


Bensonwood employs a unique off-site fabrication/on-site assembly process, coupled with our renowned panelized roof, wall and enclosure systems. This allows us to build to very close tolerances and high standards under tightly controlled conditions. Typically our weather tight shells are ​built in our facilites and transported to site, with the shells ​fully ​erected in a week to ten days. The result: ultra-tight, highly insulated homes, schools and buildings, requiring little energy to operate. Most of our buildings are built to “net-zero ready”, LEED, passive house or Living Building Challenge standards.


Our approach to building unites craft, wise material use, a systems approach, 40 years of building experience, and new technologies. We first build every project in its entirety in 3D. Then computer cut and fabricate the core shell components and the large, flat sections of the building envelope in our controlled environment. We then assemble these sections on site. ​So we're always seeking new ways to accomplish rapid build times, lower construction footprints, high​er​ durability and quality, and ​higher building performance.

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