Super Sustainable Dallas City Block


This whole thing started when Urban Re:Vision teamed up with the City of Dallas to create a sustainable city block.  The location was announced last December, and thereafter, teams from all across the world participated in a competition to design the greenest city block in the country.  Now, three winners have been announced (see below), and of these three, one will be chosen for construction.  Groundbreaking is set for Fall 2010.

We thought it'd be interesting to try to anticipate the ultimate winner with a short poll.  Read below and vote for the best sustainable design:

Entangled Bank
by Little (Charlotte, NC)




Entangled Bank is a mixed-use plan with residential and retail aspects.  It was designed to include a sky pasture to sustain livestock.  The building has community garden areas and is powered by vertical axis wind turbines and photovoltaic panels.  Glass ponds capture rainwater and provide irrigation for the extensive vertical farm and green roof system.  Entangled Bank will have 500 residential units, an Organic Farming Institute, and a Slow Food Restaurant. 

Greenways Xero Energy
by David Baker + Partners and Fletcher Studio (San Francisco, CA)



Greenways Xero Energy takes its shape from an abstract, beached naval ship in order to capture solar exposure and rainwater.  The design features community gardens, vertical farming, solar thermal energy, and photovoltaics.  Shading on the south side of the structure reduces cooling loads and geothermal tubes negotiate temperature swings.  Dallasites may notice that this design, particularly with the red touches and box cutouts, plays off the design of One Arts Plaza and the Arts District, which anchors the northeast corner of Dallas CBD. 

Forwarding Dallas
by Atelier Data and MOOV (Lisbon, Portugal)




Forwarding Dallas gets its inspiration from hills, possibly even the rolling landscape of Texas Hill Country, to create an undulated fabric of buildings with green roofs covered in native vegetation.  The hills harvest natural elements, including the sun and wind, through solar thermal, photovoltaics, horizontal axis wind turbines, and passive solar louvers.  Self-sustaining Forwarding Dallas will accommodate 854 residents and be prefabricated with local materials and straw bales. 

Photo credits: Re:Vision Dallas.

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  • Dan Bossenbroek

    Let’s hope that the final project is as sustainable as the conceptual designs.

  • Jean nisbet

    Entangled Bank is a pleasure to view. Hopefully one day it will be a place I can visit and be proud to be able to say I know someone who was involved. Brother is an architect. In one chapter of my life I was a decorator. Combination provides the genes to recognize great work!

  • Portland Real Estate

    Awesome designs. I am really sad that Portland does not have something like this coming. I would think that we would be on the top of the list for cities that were adopting and trying these amazing paradigm shifts in building practices.

  • Brian T.

    All are fanciful designs, but how many are realistic? I know this is just a competition, but let’s see if we can use all three legs of the sustainable stool (environmental, social AND economic). That’s a much greater challenge. I like the idea from Forwarding Dallas, but straw bale construction? Come on, that’s neither durable nor sustainable no matter what the enthusiasts say. How about something more traditional like masonry – durable and has thermal mass benefits.

    • Preston

      Just to clarify, this isn’t your run of the mill competition. One of these designs will be funded and built in some version of its self. I’m not sure how much the design may be modified, if any, but this competition is for legit construction to begin Fall 2010.

  • Robert Franz

    Wow, Entangled Bank is awesome…how do I get one of those condos!

  • Anonymous

    All of these designs look really amazing especially to build one of these in Dallas. Although it looks like the design and construction of any of the buildings is going to be very expensive I really hope they push through and make it look just like they have it in the renderings.

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