Local Dallas architect, Ron Wommack, received a 2006 Texas Society of Architects Design Award for his work on the Commerce Street Townhomes in east Dallas. Actually, the site is located on a previously abandoned site, which was the industrial/manufacturing area east of downtown Dallas. The neighborhood is gradually being renovated and transformed into residential living spaces. With this project, one of the architect’s goals was to create a place that carried the baggage of location’s industrial past, so the design incorporates materials such as concrete blocks, metal, and wood (in the right colors). I asked the architect about some of the sustainable features and wanted to relay those to the Jetson Green readership.
First, the buildling was designed to utilize natural light and shading (passive solar design), which is especially apparent in the trellised roof deck and the living room clerestory. Second, you’ll notice, that the roof trellises were made with chain-link fence post pipe, which is easy to recycle and extremely low maintenance. We’re thinking about the life cycle of the product here. Third, the metal skins adjust quickly with the temperature changes. And last, they used an HVAC system with a higher SEER rating (Seasonal Energy-Efficiency Rating – the higher the better…generally speaking, if you spend about $360 annually on AC with a 10-SEER, a move to the 16-SEER will save you $135 a year or so). So, we’re seeing a little bit of green incorporated in the design, and the place is extremely striking, too. Projects like this will help move Dallas forward into greener pastures of residential building.