Policy + Education

Policy and education initiatives are inherent corollaries to our planning and design endeavors. Individual projects establish precedents; these become accessible to a larger public through policy advancements, publications, workshops and lectures that we undertake throughout the U.S. and abroad. Public policy initiatives such as the Austin Green Builder Program (the first municipally-adopted green building program in the world) and the Texas Architecture and Engineering Guidelines (one of the first instances of integrating sustainability considerations in a state’s A&E guidelines) have become national and international models, inspiring similar programs in cities and states throughout the world. We often engage in collaborative projects with governmental entities, community organizations and professional associations. In this way, our work catalyzes a transformative process, as prototypes become the bases for an invigorated standard practice by design and construction professionals.

Escarpment + Parkside Village

In 2002, the Center met with the principals of Austin-based Stratus Properties to establish green building protocols for a planned retail development in environmentally sensitive southwest Austin.  What began as an unexpected and rare expression of interest from the development community at the time has evolved into successive collaborations to establish meaningful and measurable accomplishments at a scale for which few visible examples exists in this region.

Block 21

Stratus Properties’ Block 21, a $300 million, 1.1 million square foot mixed use development in Austin’s Central Business District created a distinct opportunity to explore green design and construction on a massive scale.  With Andersson-Wise leading the architectural team, the 37 story project will feature an entire city block of mixed-use development including the W Hotel & Residences (159 condominiums and 252 guestrooms), the 2,500-capacity Austin City Limits music venue and studio, as well as retail and meeting space, a spa, bars and restaurants, and thousands of square feet of offi

Laredo Demonstration Farm

The Laredo Demonstration “Blueprint” Farm was conceived as an integrated regional response to building, infrastructure, materials, and agriculture and as a foundation for local economic development.  Coordinated with the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Texas-Israel Exchange under the leadership of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower, the Farm challenged agricultural convention in Texas, where, as in many U.S.

Advanced Green Builder Demonstration Building

The Advanced Green Builder Demonstration Home Project introduces communities to a range of “green” housing materials and methods, emphasizing opportunities for recycled-content and by-product based construction materials. The project was supported by several state, regional, and municipal agencies and reflects a regional process as open to adaptation to a region’s natural resources as it is to its peoples.


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