The Greater Texas Foundation supports education programs from its LEED Gold certified Bryan, Texas headquarters, which sets an example for future development in the area. Designed by Austin-based Furman + Keil Architects, the Greater Texas Foundation's HQ is made of reclaimed wood salvaged from a nearby barn, and it goes to great lengths to restore the surrounding landscape, minimize energy and water use and take advantage of its solar resource.
The Greater Texas Foundation supports initiatives that improve math and science education and increase the rate of post-secondary enrollment. Their headquarters site is basically “in the middle of nowhere” in a new area that is expected to be developed within the next decade. Working from a blank slate, Furman + Keil Architects teamed up with Land Interactive to create a sense of place by landscaping and restoring the area with native grasses and trees. The building’s passive solar orientation takes advantage of shading and daylighting to reduce the need for artificial lighting and cooling.
The building’s form is inspired by the local rural tradition of shed roofs in the Brazos River Valley and the local brick buildings seen in downtown Bryan. Every piece of wood in the building – from the exposed roof decking to the floors, the front door, and several custom furniture pieces – is reclaimed from an old barn that the City of Bryan tore down and gave up for salvage to the project. Rainwater is collected from the highly reflective roof and stored in an underground cistern for irrigation use. The project also includes the use of local and recycled materials, an on-site bioswale, a highly efficient HVAC system, and an air-tight super-insulated building envelope.
Images ©Casey Dunn