Stephen B. Chambers Architects, Inc. in collaboration with HKS, Inc.
Schematic Design: Ralph Hawkins, FAIA, CEO HKS, Inc. and HKS, Inc.

The Fultons began with the guest house, which gave them a comfortable place to reside while the equestrian training center, horse barn, and larger ranch home were being designed and constructed.

A sustainable lifestyle with vegetable gardens, Texas heirloom rose garden, energy conservation (including 4 Rumford fireplaces), daylighting, and cross-ventilation is important to the family. All of the structures, including the larger ranch home, retain the straightforward, honest and authentic details of historic Texas ranches.

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As CEO of a large architectural firm and Fellow in the AIA, the homeowners’ goals were clearly defined for this project. The owner’s architectural practice is commercial in nature and it was important that the home reflect his commitment to the quality of the built commercial environment. The home also needed to serve as an example of good design for the owners’ many clients, business contacts, and visitors. The owners required a home accommodating to their individual and shared lifestyles and suitable for entertaining large and small groups. It was also important that the home express the sustainable goals of HKS, Inc., a firm recognized as a leading proponent of green architectural design on a global scale. The client is a modernist; Steve Chambers is well versed in regionalism. The lot’s existing home was deemed unsalvageable, but a wealth of valuable specimen trees and interesting natural topography were present.

Key Challenges

• Preserve and respect for the natural amenities of the site: trees, topography, natural drainage, views
• Design a home that is light, bright and open, yet energy-efficient
• Integrate the owners’ desire to meld Modernism with Texas Regionalism
• Use commercial detailing to reflect the owners’ extensive experience in commercial architecture, yet design the home in such a way that the project could be built by a residential contractor
• Evaluate the possible solutions to the existing challenges in terms of the ‘Seven R’s” of Sustainable Design: Respect, Receive, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restore, Remember.


The home was positioned in a manner that preserved the majority of the trees on the property and used them as natural solar screens.

Allowed topography to work for the design and not against it, slowing the runoff of water and reducing the burden on the existing municipal infrastructure by using the natural drainage patterns.

Stephen B. Chambers Architects, Inc. factored regional references into the design with the schematic provided by HKS, Inc.

Used commercial construction detailing in the design with consideration of standard residential construction techniques.

The following elements, typical of SBC Architects ‘green’/sustainable residential architecture, were incorporated into the design of this home:

• Preserved and respected the natural resources of the sites, eg. existing trees, landscaping and as much of the natural topography as possible.

• Materials and businesses in the locale of the home site to reduce energy and transportation costs.

• Used highly renewable and short-growth resources, eg. bamboo flooring.

• Retention of as much of the water as possible on the site to reduce runoff and limit the impact of urban/suburban flooding and allow for absorption into landscaping.

• Geo-thermal heat pumps to reduce cost of utilities and dependence on fossil fuels.

• Windows located in order to take into account the path of the sun and used large overhangs and solar screens to limit direct sunlight but allow reflected light into the home for daylighting.

• High-efficiency foam insulation to reduce infiltration as well as increasing insulating values.

• Hot-dipped galvanizing to protect exposed structural and architectural steel and to limit future maintenance.

• Exterior materials that require little or no maintenance.

• Low/Zero V.O.C. paints and finishes.

• Recycled, recyclable, and reclaimed materials such as steel roofing.

• Heat-reflective exterior materials.

• Radiant barriers.

• High-efficiency appliances.

• High-performance windows and doors.

• Highly-efficient Rumford fireplace.

Article in 2008 Dallas Interiors

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