Building heroes

UPCycle, Austin, Texas

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Originally built in 1972, from warehouse to fully modernised office – this building shows us the power of change 💪

Located in the historic community of East Austin, Texas, UPCycle transforms the former Balcones Recycling Center into a beautiful office building. Instead of constructing a new building altogether, the client preferred to prioritise adaptive reuse measures to preserve the neighbourhood character and honour its existing resources. The challenge for designers was maintaining the look and feel of the building’s industrial legacy, while converting it into a fully functional office and social hub 🏢

The design reused about 95% of the existing structure; through reuse and upcycling, the renovation saved around 1,824 metric tons of carbon while substantially elongating the life of the existing building. Together with the civil engineer, architect, developer and other stakeholders, a stormwater management approach was implemented, with features such as reusing existing discharge points for new roof drains.

Energy-efficient improvements at UPCycle include new skylights, new insulation as well as a new HVAC system that minimises air conditioning demand. Natural light is furthermore prioritised to support occupants’ mental well-being and productivity. By creating a regular rhythm of windows, glazed garage doors, skylights and clerestory pop-ups along the central corridor, up to 91% of the floor area benefits from direct outdoor views!

The beauty of sustainability warriors coming together to green the real estate sector! Round of  applause to the #buildingheroes involved in the project:

Introba Gensler EverWest Real Estate Investors Jones|Carter Stantec The Burt Group Curt Kremer George Oliver Bob Berkebile Roy Decker Vivian Loftness Andrea Love, AIA, LEED Fellow Autodesk Kingspan Insulated Panels North America 

📸: The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 

#sustainability #netzerocarbon #climatechange #realestate #sustainablebuildings #greenbuildings


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