Residence 1446

Sustainable Architecture & Green Building

Building In Nature

 
 

Sustainability

While we are proud of our portfolio of LEED and Austin Energy Green Building projects, our approach to sustainability is less about checking off boxes and more about integrating basic, time-tested principles into the core design of our projects. From the orientation of a building to features such as deep overhangs and abundant natural light, we have developed a set of fundamental guidelines that we can apply to projects of all types and scales:

 
 
 60-kiloWatt rooftop solar array (Performing Arts Center)

60-kiloWatt rooftop solar array (Performing Arts Center)

Energy

Providing natural light to all occupied spaces reduces overall energy use, minimizes the need for and maintenance of electrical lighting, and offers an important connection to the environment. When combined with LED lighting, on-site solar or geothermal power generation, and occupancy sensors, the savings over the life of a project can be significant.

 Drought-tolerant landscape of native and adapted plants (Tree House)

Drought-tolerant landscape of native and adapted plants (Tree House)

Water

With populations booming and droughts become longer and more frequent, reducing wasteful water consumption is paramount. Water-saving features include recycling graywater for flushing toilets and landscape irrigation, rainwater collection and filtration, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and drought-tolerant landscaping able to withstand heat, wind, and foot traffic.

 Locally-sourced Leuders limestone blocks (Chinmaya Mission Austin)

Locally-sourced Leuders limestone blocks (Chinmaya Mission Austin)

Materials

Durable and long-lasting materials and finishes extend the life of a structure and minimize maintenance, while sourcing materials locally minimizes their consumed embodied energy. Through careful planning of the construction timeline and thoughtful material selections, typical construction waste can be minimized, mitigated, or completely eliminated.

 

Case Study | LifeWorks

  • 80% less overall energy use
  • 80% less irrigation potable water use
  • 28% less indoor potable water use
  • 53% of building materials sourced in state
  • 31% recycled content
  • 83% of construction waste recycled or salvaged
  • Most interior paints contain zero volatile organic compounds
  • 95% of wood products are FSC-certified
  • All plant species are native or adapted
  • Situated near multiple bus stops and light rail
  • Bike racks, showers, lockers, and electric car charging stations promote alternative means of transportation

Case Study | Hill Country House

  • 8-kiloWatt solar array supplies 80% of annual energy usage
  • Mechanical heating and cooling via 5-ton geothermal system
  • 30,000-gallon rainwater collection system meets all of the owner’s annual water needs
  • Locally-sourced materials include limestone, cypress, and pecan
  • Utilized construction waste-management plan
  • All recyclable materials processed by IESI, with documentation denoting the percentage of each load that was recycled
  • All paint and exterior coatings are water-based and contain zero volatile organic compounds
  • Designated Wildlife Management area provides the environment necessary for migrating song birds

Case Study | Performing Arts Center

  • 23% less overall energy use
  • 100% less irrigation potable water use
  • 33% less indoor potable water use
  • 44% of building materials sourced within 500 miles
  • 33% recycled content
  • 60-kiloWatt solar array offsets up to 8% of annual energy needs
  • Daylit offices and public spaces reduce overall energy use
  • Graywater recycling for toilets and all irrigation
  • All plant species are native or adapted
  • Situated near multiple bus lines and planned light rail line
  • Bike racks, lockers, showers, and electric car charging stations promote alternative means of transportation