Sustainability is not a word generally associated with luxury homes, but one local architect has been challenging that for some time. Tom Reisenbichler puts the gorgeous in green. His modern masterpiece at 3501 Caruth Boulevard in University Park has received LEED Gold designation and was just listed by Deanne Brock with Allie Beth Allman & Associates for $5.695 million.
Reisenbichler, who built the home for his family, has a long history of designing medical facilities for Perkins+Will, a globally recognized, award-winning architecture and design firm known for thought leadership and social responsibility. Tom and his wife, Lori, have always been on the cutting edge of “green.” Lori had the first Smart Car in Dallas and a prior family home they designed and built on Orchid Lane met LEED building standards before those standards even existed for residential structures.
Designing and building homes for his family led to a new endeavor, Nest Homes. Tom and his partner, Matt Richter, build luxury homes responsibly, effectively, and to a standard that is continually innovative. Their goal is “creating environments that enhance living, evoke emotion and conversation.”
His University Park home, which we featured in 2013 when it was on the Dallas Center for Architecture tour, was created largely from recycled and reclaimed materials, as well as locally sourced and produced products. The tile floor in one of the bathrooms, for example, is made from recycled television glass. Reisenbichler took his inspiration for the design from the 75-year-old trees on the property resulting in a decidedly grown up “tree house” feel.
The open-plan design of the first floor seamlessly integrates interior and exterior spaces, creating an environment perfect for entertaining small or large groups. It might seem counterintuitive to have so much glass in a home, but increasing the amount of glass is integral to creating the connection with the outdoors, and it actually reduces energy consumption. The windows and doors are among the most high-efficiency available. That naturally leads to the question of utility bills. The average electricity bill on this 8,356-square-foot home is only $330 a month. With Energy Star appliances, foam insulation, photovoltaic solar panels, a rainwater harvesting system and tankless water heaters, no sustainability detail has been overlooked. All that thoughtfulness paid off with a sought-after LEED Gold designation.
Reisenbichler created further harmony with the outdoors by extending limestone walls from the exterior to the interior and then adding contrast with rich teak wood. This comes through very effectively in the home’s state-of-the-art Bulthaup kitchen.
The home has two fireplaces, three living areas, six bedrooms, six full and three half bathrooms. The second story houses the light-filled master suite, family bedrooms, a game room, and guest quarters, which have their own separate living area and kitchen. Another brilliant feature is a separate guest entry.
The house perfectly reflects the Nest Homes philosophy:
“To many, the term luxury means wasteful or opulent, and the term sustainable means bohemian living. At NEST, we are proving that luxury and sustainability can live together in comfort and harmony.”