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Green Building

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  • Mike Ewert
    Congratulations LaVerne! **************************************************************************** **********************************(for release September
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 20, 2003
      Congratulations LaVerne!
      **************************************************************************************************************(for release September 19, 2003)


      SEPTEMBER 13, 2002

      Wow, we were astounded

      We had just received word that the Veda House (i.e., the Hardin Residence) we designed in Austin, Texas, was awarded not only the Austin Green Building Program’s highest rating.....5 Star.....it also received the highest point total ever in the 17 year history of the Program.

      For the record, we didn’t design this project to win a green building award.  We were just applying what we know to our client’s creative desires. Like we always do. In fact, it was only after some gentle arm-twisting by individuals with the Green Building Program nearly two years after its construction, that we decided to seek a rating.  Needless to say, as the Hardin’s architects, we were thrilled that we did apply…..and that the home received the Award.  Imagine having achieved the highest point total ever in the history of the Program two years earlier and not knowing it.  And it wasn’t until the summer of 2003, when someone else spent 50% more per sq. ft in construction cost to reach our point total, did we finally realize we had helped yet another truly exceptional client create something extraordinary.

      Design/Construction Features & Performance at a glance

      In addition to being uniquely environmentally designed for the owner’s criteria and the site’s microclimate, the Hardin Residence uses Environment Associates’ Barrier Envelope ConceptSM.  This concept incorporates insulating mass exterior walls (which also provide mass for heat and "coolth" storage) with non-vented insulated roofs.  The exterior and interior wall construction, instead of termite, mold, and fire-prone wood framing, was built using aerated autoclaved cement blocks (AAC) with stucco finish on the exterior walls.  Concrete roofing tile was used (remains maintenance free for several generations), instead of maintenance prone metal roofing (the type that uses exposed fasteners), or composition shingles that may have to be replaced in as few as 15 years.  Health considerations for all construction materials and components were used. Solar water heating and rainwater harvesting systems were also incorporated.

      The entire energy bill for the totally air conditioned home was $72 for August and $80 for September 2000, the hottest months ever recorded for Austin.  Having 2800 sf of living area, it has 9 ft. to 22 ft. ceilings where every major room receives natural light from at least two directions with, some rooms from three directions.  The Discovery™ Health Channel featured the Hardin’s home on its educational TV network because of the significant health and well-being aspects of its design and construction.

      About the Austin Green Building Program

      The World-renowned Austin Green Building Program is the nation’s foremost residential green building program. In fact, all the other green building programs around the Nation are modeled in one way or another after what Austin started in 1985.  As the only Houston architects that have been invited to be a part of this program since it’s inception, we are proud to be associated with it, the only U.S. program to win one of 12 awards given Worldwide at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

      LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
      architect & building ecologist

      Architects & Consultants
      5828 Langfield Road
      Houston, TX 77092-1429
      866.815.2527 toll free


      Leadership in Green High Performance Homes and Remodeling since 1975

      Healthy Living at its Bestsm 

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