The Sustainable Design Center

Bio-regionally Appropriate Architecture Collaboration and Planning for a Cleaner, Healthier Planet

Welcome to the Sustainable Design Center!

We are an Austin Texas Architectural firm that combines 3 plus decades of experience on a wide variety of residential, multi-family, and commercial projects with a focus toward Sustainable, Cost Effective, Energy Efficient Design that has been refined and developed since 1993 under the firm Ben Obregon Architect.

We believe that careful attention to site, design, materials and construction can provide energy and resource efficient buildings which have a positive impact on those who occupy them for a cost comparable to or less than buildings that have significantly higher utility cost.

To achieve this goal we utilize a variety of techniques such as a bio-regional approach to design styles materials selection and construction methods, site planning to maximize passive solar heating cooling and natural ventilation, energy efficient wall systems, building shapes that enhance thermal performance, high efficiency HVAC systems, materials and finishes that improve indoor air quality and (where applicable) solar panels and rainwater collection.

We discuss these and other items with our clients at the beginning of each project to determine what is appropriate for their particular circumstances-based on the type of structure (residential, multi-family or commercial, new stand alone building or addition/renovation), the budget, the scope of work, the existing conditions and any specific goals or conditions. These decisions become our Program and provide an overall guideline for the project’s goals and budget.

This design approach allows us to provide our clients with buildings that provide a consistently high level of thermal performance, durability, indoor comfort and cost effectiveness.

A few examples include:
Austin’s 1st 5 Star Rated Green Builder Project (A 2135 s.f. post and beam straw bale home in Southwest Austin w/rainwater collection & high efficiency HVAC among its many features.)
Austin’s 10,000th Green Builder Rated Project (A Net Zero 5 star rated renovation/addition that produced 862 KWH more energy than it used from Earth Day 2012 to Earth Day 2013.)
The Small Residence (A wood framed 5 star rated 2415 s.f. South Austin home with a 555 s.f. art studio , 6 KW PV system and some extremely low utility bills ($1.86 in Jan 2009)

Our website showcases many additional examples of energy efficient, sustainable buildings constructed of wood, stone, insulated concrete forms, fiber cement blocks and straw bales and featuring Thermal Chimney’s (Shomos, Small, McGeary and others), Off Grid electrical Systems (Robbins), Living Roof’s (Robinson Addition), and multiple high efficiency HVAC options.

Thank you for your visit. We hope you enjoy our site. Please contact us if you have any questions, would like to see some of our projects in person or to schedule an initial meeting.

Ben Obregon, Architect