On the Boards: Piedra Toro


We are proud to unveil our latest project currently under construction – Piedra Toro. Located in the heart of the Texas hill country, this two-story 8,800 sqft. residence offers sweeping views of Central Texas landscape along contemporary design aesthetic.

Special thanks to Camelot Custom Homes, Inc.

Office Puppies!


Forge Craft Architecture + Design founder and principal, Rommel Sulit, brought his brood of 7 adorable puppies by the office this afternoon. Needless to say, there was an overload of cuteness throughout the office.

Implementing VRF at Casa Cuernavaca


VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) systems are a relatively new concept to US architectural/mechanical design, despite their 30+ year success in Japan. As American engineers become more familiar with the technology, and especially as they learn of its energy efficient advantages, more in the industry might be willing to give the systems a try.

In drastic contrast to a typical HVAC systems used in residential construction (such as air-air heat pumps or direct expansion [DX] systems), VRF systems provide much needed zoning flexibility within a building. Mitsubishi’s City Multi S-Series (pictured in the image below), can be used in both light commercial or large residential applications due to its unique ability to heat or cool up to 12 individual zones in the building. As such, VRF systems are a great option for buildings with varying loads and zones such as hotels, schools, and office buildings. VRF systems tend to have greater piping length allowances than DX systems and use insulated copper piping with small diameters, which make them highly suitable for building with low-ceiling spaces or for adaptive reuse and other projects aimed at preserving historic value with minimal destruction during installation.


photo credit @ Mitsubishi

The VRF system implemented at Casa Cuernavaca (pictured in the top image) provides the home with a plethora or benefits including energy efficiency, zoned comfort, quiet operation, system simplicity, aesthetics, lower lifecycle cost, and additional safety. For this and other energy efficient practices, be sure to stop by Casa Cuernavaca this Saturday and Sunday during the 2014 AIA Austin Homes Tour!

Special thanks to Matt Risinger of Risinger Homes and Positive Energy.

19,200 Gallons Captured Each Year? Casa Cuernavaca Shows You How!


Austin’s average rainfall in a medium condition season amounts to a little over 32″ per year. And with drought conditions showing no sign of easing up, Austinites are pursuing more and more innovative options in the capture and reuse of rainwater at home.

Casa Cuernavaca (featured during this year’s AIA Austin Homes Tour) utilizes its 1,300 sqft. single slope roof plain to not only capture the harsh sun for energy through its photo-voltaic roof array, but also redirect rainwater into a 2,500 gallon rain barrel. 1″ of rainfall on the house amounts to 600 gallons collected on the roof. With a yearly rainfall of just above 32″, that equates to 19,200 gallons captured each year! This means the rain barrel collector could be drained for home necessities (such as landscaping) and be refilled naturally nearly 8 times per year. Amazing!

For more sustainable design features, be sure to drop by Casa Cuernavaca this Saturday and Sunday during the AIA Austin Homes Tour. We can’t wait to see you!

Tweet Us on the AIA Austin Homes Tour


During this weekend’s AIA Austin Homes Tour, Forge Craft Architecture + Design will be tweeting live – answering all of your questions and responding to comments about the tour and Casa Cuernavaca. Feel free to ask us anything involving architecture and design, and don’t forget to “check in” at Casa Cuernavaca through AIA Austin’s hot spots at each home.

Tweet to us @FORGExCRAFT. See you soon!

Austin Goes Micro!

Forge Craft Architecture + Design’s up-and-coming affordable housing complex, Capital Studios  (completed in collaboration with Dick Clark Architecture) was mentioned in USA Today’s story on America’s newest love of mini-apartment design last August.

The implementation of “micro-living” architecture has become a hot topic of discussion among the communities of Austin as a possible answer to the city’s ever-increasing population and housing cost. Last month, Austin’s Code and Ordinances Committee unanimously denied a recommendation that the city change its rules to permit the construction of “micro” apartments with parking requirements of less than one space per unit. The matter now heads to City Council, which is slated to deliberate the micro-unit question at its October 16 meeting this Thursday.

Regardless of the City’s decision, talk of smaller building footprints and a solution to Austin’s looming affordable housing shortage remains a major issue for many.


photo credit @ USA Today


Tickets On Sale Now

AIA Homes Tour_2014_logo

Join us at Casa Cuernavaca on the 28th Annual AIA Austin Homes Tour this October 25-26, 2014. Your self-guided tour will feature an in-depth look at the residence’s unique design as well as access to both interior and exterior spaces. Please remember, no photos may be taken in the homes – no exceptions.

Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 the weekend of the tour. Advance tickets may be purchased at Zinger Hardware (4001 N. Lamar), Mockingbird Domestics (2151 S. Lamar), or directly from AIA Austin. Tickets to an individual home will be available for $10 each at each home the weekend of the Tour, cash/check only.

We hope to see you out there!