HOK to Design the Urban Living Laboratory Print
Monday, 10 January 2011 09:59

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Development Focuses on Sustainable Urban Living

HOK is designing a new type of sustainable research development intended to leave a lasting legacy.

The Urban Living Laboratory, a 73-acre, 1.2 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use development that sits on a 240-acre parcel of land owned by the Texas A&M University System and located in north Dallas.

HOK
Courtesy of HOK




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The proposed five-phase project, which will be built to endure for 75 years, includes offices, retail space, multifamily apartments, and two hotels. HOK is providing architecture, interior design, master planning, landscape architecture and environmental graphics services.

In addition to being a "live, work, play" development, the Urban Living Laboratory will accommodate sustainable research in the built environment. Scientists from across Texas A&M and other universities will be able to monitor the buildings' technologies, systems and environmental impact while studying the factors that influence occupants to act sustainably in their daily lives.

More than 20 'Fortune 500' companies that have joined the project as partners will underwrite the Urban Living Laboratory's technology platforms. These corporate partners will benefit from access to real-time performance data on their building systems and products - as well as extensive research on how people use them.

Each building will be designed to achieve at least LEED® Silver certification and will be required to maintain this level over time. The rating system is intended to provide baseline figures against which the team can measure and continuously improve the performance of the buildings.

"First and foremost, we have to create an environment where people want to live and work, a place that offers a better, more sustainable, lifestyle choice," said Steven Janeway from HOK's Dallas office. "Beyond that, our approach to building design is to create durable frames composed with flexible systems and timeless materials that accommodate systematic improvements and change over time. Creating modular basic building elements and construction typologies will help us achieve this adaptability and flexibility while avoiding the creation of unnecessary waste."

One of the team's goals is to positively impact future sustainable developments. "We will share our processes so they can be imitated and enhanced by others," Janeway said. "The best way to foster real change is to address the problems of sustainability at the urban core of cities, as we will be more and more dependent on these environments in the future. This can help prevent continued sprawl into the outlying countryside as a result of population growth."
The team is currently working on zoning approvals with the city of Dallas. Construction on the project's first two phases is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011.


Last Updated on Monday, 10 January 2011 10:08