When HomeAway Inc opened its new headquarters in Austin in 2009, the vacation website sought to make their offices one of the greenest in the city -- as well as one of the most enjoyable places to work. With a sprawling roof deck, a game room, and a giant replica of the birdhouse from the HomeAway logo, it looks more like a vacation destination than a work space. Designed by CTA Architects Engineers, the 51,000-square-foot office was even awarded LEED Gold certification for its use of eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient systems.
Many of the architectural elements and much of the furniture in HomeAway’s HQ were made from reclaimed wood, including the Nantucket-themed game room and the boardroom, which features wood beams that were salvaged from 19th-century barns from New York State. The boardroom also features a white picket fence that HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples made using old skis from his childhood.
Additionally, the restrooms feature high-performance, water-conserving fixtures, and the layout of the office maximizes the use of natural light. Many of the floor tiles are partially made with plant materials and low-emitting adhesives; 85 percent of countertop material is made from recycled glass; and the workstations were made using 46 percent recycled materials. The company also encourages green transportation, providing bike storage lockers and showers for cyclists, deeply discounted mass transit passes, and free covered parking for employees who drive eco-friendly vehicles.