New Urban Tapestries
Architects, landscape architects, and planners must design more interconnected, green infrastructure and should do so with greater cultural sensitivity.
Architects, landscape architects, and planners must design more interconnected, green infrastructure and should do so with greater cultural sensitivity.
Workshop8’s Paisano Green Community is educating residents to be stewards of their environment.
With construction of the Waller Creek tunnel well under way in Austin, the $146.5-million effort to transform the long-neglected flood plain has afforded a new vision for the city.
At 64 Vanguard Way in Dallas, Max Levy has created a simple composition that represents a thoughtful and rigorous response to the challenges of the site. The house combines subtle connections to nature with playful gestures in the art of dwelling that both suit and delight the couple that lives there.
AIA Austin was proud to partner with the City of Austin and six other consultants chosen to participate in AIA’s Sustainable Design Assistance Team (SDAT) program.
Designed by Val Glitsch, FAIA, for New Hope Housing — an independent nonprofit organization that offers quality, affordable single-room occupancy (SRO) housing to low-income-earning adults — 4415 Perry Street in Houston is a sustainable solution for an underserved population.
Studio RED Architects’ rehabilitation of a former warehouse for use as the Houston Permitting Center was centered on rigorously researched sustainability, deference to the industrial character of the old building, and the installation of an intensely local public art program.
The Office of James Burnett’s new Sunnylands Center & Gardens is a composition of color and texture achieved through a densely layered, yet sustainable, planting design.
Austin-based Miró Rivera Architects designed a sustainable and economical building, full of natural light, for the not-for-profit LifeWorks in East Austin.
San Antonio’s Lake|Flato Architects was among the five architects from around the world to receive a prestigious 2013 Global Award for Sustainable Architecture. Principal Ted Flato represented the firm at the ceremony and symposium at the Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine in Paris.
Parking has never been so pretty; the T3 Parking Structure in Austin, by Danze Blood Architects, uses design to redefine the typically banal experience of parking.
On Oct. 28, during the Texas Society of Architects 72nd Annual Convention in Dallas, 2011 President Dan Hart, AIA, PE, formally announced the Society’s redesigned website and “refreshed” brand, which uphold Texas Architects’ mission to be “the voice for Texas architecture, supporting the creation of safe, beautiful, sustainable environments.”
For the design of Atascocita Springs Elementary School in Humble, the architects of PBK integrated elements that support its science and math curricula while also reflecting the town’s rich tradition in energy production. Interactive kiosks allow students to log the school’s consumption of water, natural gas, and electricity—exercises that tie the building’s sustainable design features to grade-level appropriate curriculum.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools, working in conjunction with its founding sponsor, United Technologies Corp., released its inaugural Best of Green Schools 2011 in December to recognize school administrators and government leaders in 10 categories for their efforts to create sustainable learning environments.
A website maintained by the nonprofit National Institute of Building Sciences offers numerous resources at no charge to advance sustainable design, including online continuing education courses approved by the American Institute of Architects. The mission of the Whole Building Design Guide (www.wbdg.org) is to create successful high-performance buildings through an integrated team approach during a project’s planning and programming phases.
Designed by Kirksey Architecture, Clean Line Energy Partners in downtown Houston is a 6,700-sf space housing an electricity transmission company that develops electrical transmission lines connecting wind farms to urban areas. Several factors guided the design, including a limited budget of $350,000. The client desired a sustainable, historic headquarters building with a design that would reflect the company’s fresh, hip brand.
In this edition about design for healthcare and wellness, we look at good buildings of both types. But the role of architects in public health goes far beyond their work on the hospitals, clinics, and fitness facilities routinely associated with these two categories. The broader purview includes their role in shaping more livable, sustainable, and healthy communities — the premise being that there is a direct correlation between the design of a community and the health of its people.
I.o.W.H. proposes a quick, low-cost, sustainable, multifamily housing option for a better quality of living for oil-field workers in Encinal, Texas. This project was honored at the 2012 Texas Architects Studio Awards program, which annually recognizes excellence in unbuilt, often strictly conceptual, architectural design.
Sustainable Cabin is a 400-sf prefabricated, design-build collaboration sited in Crowell, Texas, by students at Texas Tech University College of Architecture, led by Architecture Professor Upe Flueckiger, Dipl. Arch. SIA.
As Thomas Friedman sees it, our world is rapidly becoming “hot, flat, and crowded.” In his best-selling 2008 book by that title, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist warned of American complacency in the face of impending calamities threatening the planet and its inhabitants, mainly climate change, depletion of natural resources, and overpopulation. Moreover, he called on the U.S. to marshal its innate capacity for innovation to forestall global crises.
The American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment has included Lake/Flato Architect’s Livestrong Foundation’s headquarters among its 2011 Top Ten Green Projects, a national program that celebrates sustainable design excellence. Livestrong, located in Austin, was this year’s sole Texas honoree.
There were some unusual sightings in Dallas in mid-July—pedestrians, lots of them, in spite of 101-degree heat. The occasion was the North Texas Sustainable Showcase 2011 that was staged at several venues within an easy walk from each other, giving reason for why many of the nearly 300 attendees were strolling along the sidewalks—a welcome site for the newly thriving Uptown neighborhood.
The idea behind Perkins + Will’s entry in this year’s Living City Design Competition is the need for a sustainable model for Houston’s continued rapid growth.
Our nineteenth-century Texas forebears lived more closely with nature than we do, but of course they had little choice in the matter. Though we sometimes romanticize that close relationship, most early Texans probably would have traded the romance for a window unit air conditioner. Nevertheless, they made the most of their situation and there remains much that we can learn from them about the intersection of daily lives, architecture, and nature.
Thanks to efforts by local architectural students, residents of Brownsville and surrounding communities are learning about affordable green building strategies. The students designed and built the Go-Green Pavilion, a portable showcase for alternative types of construction materials and systems, earlier this year.
The prairie has returned to Fort Worth’s Cultural District. Evicted long ago by urbanization, native flora have again taken root along University Drive where revived grassland heralds the emergence of a unique enterprise. So surprising is the sight of children at play in this field of prairie grasses that one may not immediately see the new building on the site.
This edition covers a broad sweep of variations on the “Design for Education” theme, from new facilities for private and public schools to an award-winning architecture course at UT Arlington that is now improving the everyday experiences of Arlington residents. There’s also a news article about a green roof on the campus of UT El Paso, an unlikely – but so far successful – attempt at sustainable design in a desert climate.
The 20 solar-powered houses that lined the National Mall in October during the fourth Solar Decathlon made it clear that the sustainable design movement is becoming more self-assured and sophisticated. The projects, each designed and built by a team of students, used a wide variety of materials (stone, wood, steel, and plastic composite) and spatial organizations not seen in past decathlons.
This year’s TSA Studio Awards will be judged by three Arizona architects, each respected for design work and commitment to sustainable architecture. Comprising the jury is Wendell Burnette, FAIA, of Wendell Burnette Architects in Phoenix; John Kane, FAIA, a founding principal of Architekton in Tempe: and Philip Weddle, AIA, of Weddle Gilmore Black Rock Studio in Scottsdale.
David Heymann concedes that the house is indeed very large, yet he is quick to point out the designs sustainable attributes. “It’s not smart growth, but its smarter to have one very big house than a dozen big houses,” he says. “Such houses are inevitable, and ignoring them for scalar impropriety does not resolve their environmental consequence.”
Buzz Lofts, a live/work residential building designed by t. howard + associates, is sited on an urban block near downtown Dallas. Sustainable, modern, and artistic describe the design concept for the three-story building that rests above ground-floor parking.
Color Clock House was conceived as a speculative house for a developer of an enclave of sustainable homes in Dallas.
Pegboard is a sustainable and expandable shelter for the people in the African nation of Ghana.
Lake/Flato Architects’ Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange is among the Top Ten Green Projects for 2009 as recognized by the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE). Each year the national award celebrates excellence in sustainable architecture and design solutions that protect and enhance the natural environment.
Designed by Portugal firms Atelier Data and MOOV, Forwarding Dallas is one of three winning projects in Urban Revision’s Re:Vision Dallas competition to design a fully sustainable 2.5-acre block in downtown Dallas.
Rice University graduate students Zhan Chen and Brantley Highfill (with faculty sponsor Douglas Oliver) recently received second place for their design Constructed Ecologies in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture “Concrete Thinking for a Sustainable World” International Student Design Competition.
The project proposes to redevelop Valencia’s old harbor in Spain that represents the commitment of the city with a modern spirit, rich in options and aspirations. This project of renovation and master planning intends to recover the harbor in a sustainable manner. The project proposes: 1) to create a waterfront where none currently exists; 2) to integrate the port into the city; 3) to suitably separate the port and non-port uses; 4) to order traffic circulation along the seafront; 5) to resolve the area in which the dry river bed joins the sea; 6) to conserve and recover the heritage of the area; 7) to propose a suitable combination of public and private uses; and 8) to consider pre-existing uses for their integration into a sustainable environment.
From the 58 projects entered in the 2007 AIA San Antonio Design Awards, jurors selected two for Honor Awards, three for Merit Awards, and five for Citation Awards. In addition, the jury recognized two of the award-winning projects for sustainable design. During ceremonies held Oct. 24 at the recently renovated Pearl Stable, two other awards were announced—the Mayor’s Choice Award honoring a publicly funded architectural project and the chapter’s 25-Year Design Award for a project `that has stood the test of time.
(This article was adapted from “Sustainability & Green Building Design with Brick Masonry,” an article that originally appeared in the October 2007 edition of Brick in Architecture published by the Brick Industry Association.) Many of the objectives of sustainab le design do not impact building material selection, but instead focus on building systems such as plumbing, lighting, air conditioning, etc. However, the versatility and durability of brick facilitate the use of brick masonry as part of many elements of sustainable design.
Durable, energy efficient and recyclable – a quick evaluation of concrete applications and it’s easy to determine that this versatile building material is sustainable. Just how major a role it will play as the green building movement continues to proliferate depends on how many are willing to take a closer look.
Co-sponsored by AIA Houston, the Gulf Coast Green 2008 symposium and expo is scheduled April 3-6 at Reliant Park in Houston. The event will address timely issues of rising energy costs and global climate concerns. Tours of Houston will be given on April 4, and will feature folk art, green roof, Houston downtown, and sustainable engineering.
Designed by SHW Group, the Hill Country Montessori School in Boerne will demonstrate to its young occupants the importance of creating sustainable built environments by using architecture to promote education. The design of the buildings promotes both environmental and social awareness through transparency and access.
Two Texas communities are among 10 selected across the U.S. for study this year by an AIA Sustainable Design Assistance Team (SDAT) to help develop strategies for improving environmental conditions and preserving a sense of place while faced with suburban sprawl.
Gail Vittori is co-author of Sustainable Healthcare Architecture (Wiley Press, 2008) with Robin Guenther, FAIA. As co-director of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, Vittori also helped develop the Green Guide for Health Care (www.gghc.org) and chairs the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Healthcare Committee. TA Editor Stephen Sharpe recently nterviewed Vittori about her book and her purpose in writing it.
The design submittal from Hybrid/ORA of Seattle is the winner of the “99K House Competition” sponsored by the Rice Design Alliance and AIA Houston. The competition challenged architects to design a sustainable, single-family prototype that could be built for around $99,000 in Houston and replicated throughout the Gulf region.
While Texas’ five largest cities have adopted policies mandating sustainable design standards for their new public buildings, the Texas Legislature has yet to pass any similar laws governing state-owned facilities.
The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies is developing into the innovative, interdisciplinary research facility. With a gift of $46 million in 2000 and the charge to “make a difference,” Corpus Christi philanthropist Edward H. Harte set the researchers on their mission to support and advance the long-term sustainable use and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico.
“Sustainable design,” the emerging amalgamation of principles and strategies for conserving the use of energy by buildings, is rapidly becoming the most important force in contemporary architecture. Potentially prescriptive, sustainable design strongly implies the need for a very different architecture. Owing to what seems the profession’s long-term habit of neglecting energy conservation, an anxiety surrounds the subject, stimulated by concerns that a designer’s creativity might be restricted or a client’s preferences compromised.
The growing trend toward mixed-use developments in the United States is a welcome change from developments of the recent past where zoning more or less dictated single-use districts and led to an overall homogenization of our urban environment. And while they have much to offer, these new mixed-use developments have challenges to overcome if they are to thrive. It is clear that for them to function as relatively self-sufficient, sustainable communities, lessons must be incorporated from urban neighborhoods that have grown up over decades or, in some cases, centuries.
The successful design and construction of a building’s exterior enclosure defines the aesthetic sense of a building, it secures protection from a variety of weather conditions, and today it is an integral part of strategies for sustainable building design.
Scheduled for completion next fall, the 5,000-square-foot residence is designed by Adams Architects as the first fully sustainable residential building in Houston. The project employs an intricate steel structure that props 150 photovoltaic panels 12 inches above the roof.
The Employment & Conference Center of Zachry Construction Corporation is the first building to be LEED certified in San Antonio. Designed by Kell Muñoz Architects of San Antonio specifically with sustainable features in mind, the project was awarded Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the fifth building in Texas to receive this high distinction.
Albiet tangential to this edition’s “Color” theme, the profession’s achievements in sustainable design deserve to be acknowledged at every opportunity. The fact that three of the AIA Committee on the Environment’s Top Ten Green Projects are in Texas demonstrates how the state’s architects are successfully responding to their clients’ desire for buildings that minimize environmental impact and maximize the energy-efficient attributes of high-performance design.
Texas has three projects among the AIA’s 2006 top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The annual list of Top Ten Green Projects is selected by the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE).
The 505, a four-unit townhouse development, sits near Houston’s rejuvenated downtown. The architect spearheaded the project as an experimental design exercise that works within the economic and market constraints of a speculative housing development. The 505 sought to be financially successful and to make responsible use of land, incorporate sustainable design principles, enhance community sensibilities, and possess an architectural identity.