Late last year, Austin architects, designers, and urbanists gathered to celebrate the six winners of the Austin Green Awards, an honor that recognizes sustainable design in Texas’s capital city.
“Over the last year, we find so much to celebrate with participation in Austin Energy Green Building ratings at record levels, a new commercial rating system, and the new Austin Energy Headquarters earning a 5-Star AEGB rating and LEED Platinum certification,” Austin Energy Green Building Energy Efficiency Services Manager Heidi Kasper said at the October ceremony. “But we’ve also witnessed 15 weather related climate disaster events totaling more than $15 billion in losses, causing major suffering in the US and around the world. And, we know that it is the most vulnerable among us who are impacted the most. More work needs to be done if we want to realize a future of climate resilient development that supports human health and well-being in a just and equitable way. I know that I’m not alone in my desire for this future, and that it will be through our combined efforts that we can be successful.”
The jurors for the seventh edition of the Austin Green Awards were Perkins&Will Designer and Sustainability Advisor Kendall Claus, EcoSmart Solution Chief Technology Officer Greg Wolfson, Rocky Mountain Institute Carbon Free Buildings Practice Principal Victor Olgyay, and AN Editor In Chief Aaron Seward.
Take a look at the winning projects below:
Project of the Year
Austin Community College – Rio Grande Campus
Studio8 Architects transformed a century-old building into a state-of-the-art learning hub for the Rio Grande Campus of Austin Community College. “By repurposing existing buildings throughout Austin, ACC is regenerating the city makeup in a sustainable and resilient manner. Others should follow suit,” the judges stated.
Campsite at Shield Ranch
Hill & Wilkinson
The Shield Ranch Foundation asked Hill & Wilkinson to create a self-sustaining facility with the lightest possible impact on the land. “One of the long-term influences of this project is how the buildings will change the way the young campers will think about the environment for the rest of their lives,” the jury said.
hatch + ulland owen architects
Foundation Communities tapped hatch + ulland owen architects to design an apartment complex for formerly homeless people with low-maintenance interiors and large shaded outdoor areas. “This project is not just about the building—importantly, it’s also about the people. It provides a case study of deep socially responsible design,” the jury noted.
Waterloo Greenway Conservancy & City of Austin
After a twenty-year-plus visioning and renovation process, Waterloo Park now hosts music and free public programming while keeping the city safer from flooding. According to the jury, “[the] project is the start of a whole new era of regeneration through the downtown city grid, bringing it back to life and giving the community a place to relax, play, exercise, and learn in a beautiful and inspiring environment.”
Theresa Passive House
Forge Craft Architecture + Design
Forge Craft Architecture + Design transformed a 2,100-square-foot 1914 bungalow into a Passive House with a warm, minimalist aesthetic, pictured at top. “The home has positioned itself as an educational tool, giving back to the broader community by engaging UT students to research performance with the potential to have a larger positive influence on the built environment,” the jury stated.
Austin Energy Headquarters
ELS Architecture and Page/
Austin Design architect ELS Architecture teamed up with architect of record Page/ for a four-story, 275,000-square-foot corporate headquarters for Austin Energy. “This project sets an example for an energy provider – practicing what they preach, and serves as an educational tool going forward,” the judges noted. “Pursuing LEED Platinum, WELL Platinum, and AEGB 5-Star is no small feat. Rightfully so, it will serve as an exemplary case study for the local AEC industry for years to come.”