Adaptive Reuse for School in Austin

September 26, 2013 by: Ben Heimsath

Construction has begun on the newest elementary school in Austin, and most of the work is indoors.  The new school is an adaptive reuse of an empty commercial building, an innovative solution for the Austin Independent School District.  For the past year, Heimsath Architects, in joint venture with Architecture Plus, has been working on the conversion of an old manufacturing facility as the best ... Read More

Adaptive Re-use / Austin / Campus Architecture / Sustainable Deisgn / Schools

Sustainable Water Solutions - Green Outside Your Building (Part 2)

November 13, 2012 by: Aurora McClain

Last week I dicussed options for reducing the amount of water that you use inside your house through adapting your habits and installing fixtures or appliances that are more efficient. This week we need to talk about what goes on outside, because a lot of the water that you use never actually enters your house but instead gets used for irrigating landscaping. This water has been processed to make ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Deisgn

Sustainable Water Solutions - Green Building (Part 1)

November 2, 2012 by: Aurora McClain

  GREEN BUILDING As the newest member of the Heimsath staff, I have been offered the opportunity to share some of my interests through this blog. Since I am particularly interested in green building, I wanted to kick off with a series on sustainable water solutions. A little background may be helpful to explain my interest in sustainability. I grew up on a farm in Vermont where waste was closely ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Green Building - Frequently Asked Questions

October 5, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

Many of our clients are interested in green building but still are not sure if it is worth it.  Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about green building:   What is green building?  Can it be practical? Green building, or sustainable design, refers to a growing concern with maximizing efficiency and reducing waste and energy consumption.  While many ideas are still in ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Sustainable Deisgn

Residential Sun Shades - They're Inexpensive and They Work!

September 23, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

In our hot, humid climate, the best way to beat the heat is to get some shade.  For residential architecture, porches, awnings, and trellises are the classic shading devices.  There also are tents, and canopies that use fabric materials for shading.  A relatively new product, the sun shade, or sun sail, offers good architectural solutions that are permanent, inexpensive and very flexible. For our ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Sustainable Deisgn

Building Restoration After Catastrophe

May 22, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

The Atlantic Cities website ran photos and news this week about the earthquake in Italy.  This strikes a chord with us in Central Texas.  No, we don't have priceless renaissance buildings here, but we continue to grapple with major events that challenge us to re-examine our building processes and consider key issues of building restoration.   These sobering photos remind us to consider all ... Read More

Sacred Architecture / Austin / Architects and Construction / Historic Preservation

Demand Charge for Church Electricity: Is This a Good Idea?

March 13, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

So what is a demand charge and why should churches care?  Churches should care a great deal.  If you are not paying it now, watch out!  It could equal or even exceed your consumption charge in a given month. A demand charge for church electricity bills is seriously being considered by our local utility company.  Some utilities already have added this charge for churches, and may soon expand or ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Austin / Technology / Sustainable Deisgn

Building Conservation - A Great Resource at the University of Texas

February 16, 2012 by: Li Tong

  One and a half years after graduating from the Historic Preservation Program at University of Texas at Austin, I went back to the School of Architecture and took a tour of its prominent Architectural Conservation Lab, a great building conservation resource. Fran Gale, the director of the lab, was hosting a session with the students from her Materials Conservation class. The students were asked ... Read More

Austin / Technology / Historic Preservation

Austin Churches Designed by Heimsath Architects

January 20, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

  Use this interactive map to see names and descriptions of Austin Churches designed by Heimsath Architects. View Heimsath Architects - Austin Area Churches in a larger map   We've had a number of requests recently for tours to see Austin churches designed by Heimsath Architects.  It has been very instructive to revisit some of these sites and to note how successful they have been for each ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Austin / Site Development

Austin Churches - Hidden All-Faith Jewels

October 27, 2011 by: Ben Heimsath

You may think you know Austin Churches, but here are three wonderful worship spaces few people know exist.  Built as all-faith spaces, these were planned for prayer and worship regardless of denomination or affiliation.  They represent three generations of Austin religious leadership and three generations of spiritual and church architecture.  All of them are reasonably accessible - you may pass ... Read More

Worship Space / Sacred Architecture / Church Design & Construction / Austin / Historic Preservation