Permeable Paver - A Great Idea That Doesn’t Exist Anymore

November 4, 2020 by: Ben Heimsath

This discovery started with a simple, seemingly innocent question, “why not use a permeable paver to deal with poor drainage?” Months later, following many unfruitful searches, I can pretty confidently say the answer is simple: there once was a permeable paver, also called drainable paver on the market, but it no longer exists. I got the question from our client, a school district project manager ... Read More

Sustainable Deisgn

Is Demolition OK? – Six Essential Questions

March 14, 2014 by: Ben Heimsath

Before you demolish an older building, remember, the decision is final. Whatever value, history or opportunity for reuse that might have been possible will be gone forever! Our firm has long been associated with historic preservation and creative re-use of older buildings, so it may seem surprising that this blogpost is about tearing buildings down. I served for five years on Austin’s Historic ... Read More

Adaptive Re-use / Building Codes / Sustainable Deisgn / Historic Preservation

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: Heimsath Architects Staff

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

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 the ... 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

Electric Car Implications - Saving Gas Is Just The Beginning

May 4, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

Imagine a world without any gas stations - none on the roadway, none in the neighborhood. Imagine a stoplight with waiting cars and no smell or fumes. Imagine a busy street without the rumble of engine noise. Don't just imagine these things, get ready for them. Electric cars are coming and there are big implications. Avoiding the high cost of gasoline is just the beginning. The electric car ... Read More

Adaptive Re-use / Transportation / Technology / Sustainable Deisgn

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

Simultaneous Use Makes Communities Livable

September 25, 2011 by: Ben Heimsath

Simultaneous Use is what makes a town or city great. As a senior designer, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Clovis Heimsath has been concerned with these issues for many years. He believes there is a new appreciation for the human scale in our communities. The architecture and planning professions have begun to place a higher premium on healthy interactions of people over the ... Read More

Sustainable Deisgn / Site Development

The Green School - What it Means and the Difference It Makes

August 27, 2011 by: Sandy Stone

What makes the eight-classroom addition for Langford Elementary a "Green School?" Does it make any difference? Our goal for Langford, from the very beginning, was to make improvements on anything that consumed resources over the life of the building. The whole team, the District's project manager and their energy consultants, our engineering consultants, and the contractor thoroughly embraced ... Read More

Campus Architecture / Sustainable Deisgn / Schools