Austin Family Home

When homeowner Andrew McCalla decided to remodel his historic home located in Austin’s West Line Historic District neighborhood, he was determined to preserve as much of its original foundation as possible. This project was no easy feat as the home’s oldest foundation consisted of two Civil War-era walls. At 20 inches thick, the walls were constructed using a wooden form filled with stone, mud and straw that was originally found on the land well over 100 years ago.

McCalla enlisted the Austin-based Pilgrim Building Company to strip the house to its bones in order to restore the two original perpendicular wings of the house and build a new addition in between. To add to the challenge, the builders were also tasked with identifying and using similar materials that were originally used to construct the home, and rebuild it in a similar fashion in order to avoid discrepancies and structural issues.

Rebuilding the structure was one thing but upgrading the building’s performance and comfort was another. The team knew they needed a specific cooling and heating system – one that had installation flexibility to accommodate the unusual wall construction, one that could handle the moisture and humidity buildup from the existing water on the land and, of course, a system that could operate efficiently at high cooling demands, given the nature of Austin’s hot summers.

To satisfy these conditions, the team chose our S-Series Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning system. Now, the homeowner can control each section of the building separately, while meeting the cooling and humidity needs, reducing power costs and maintaining output capacity.

“As for system performance, we’re comfortable,” McCalla said.

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