English + Associates participated for another year in the 28th Annual AIA Houston SandCastle Competition. With the help of The Gonzalez Group, we channeled our inner chef, and our love of big bundts, and made a GIANT bundt cake! Despite the massive amounts of rain, we still had a blast! We also won an award for Best Costume! Thank you to all of our sponsors and to everyone who came out to see us!
English + Associates teamed with St. Agnes Academy this year as a High School Mentor. Our theme was "Thing 1 Thing 2 Know What Solving Hunger Can Do!". The hard work from the girls at At. Agnes paid off because we won Jurors' Favorite High School entry and the Best Use of Most Needed Items!
English + Associates participated for another year in the 27th Annual AIA Houston SandCastle Competition. With the help of Gallant Builders, we incoporated our love of Board Games and Low Impact Development to create LIDOPOLY! Thank you to all of our sponsors and to everyone who came out to see us!
English + Associates won Honorable Mention at the CANstruction Houston Competition for our entry "What is it About the GREEN Ones?!". E+A teamed with Gunda Corporation to build the "Sassy" Green M&M out of almost 3,000 cans of Green Beans and Green Peas. As with years past, all of the cans were donated to the Houston Food Bank.
E+A showed our love of cult classics...in SAND! Our team channeled our love of Mel Brooks "Cult Classic" movies, and designed our castle with a silly and fun Spaceballs theme. Dark Helmet made an appearance in our Spaceballs City, along with our "crashed" Winnebago! We may not have taken home the Golden Bucket, but we definitely had a BLAST building it! We want to say Thank You to all of our sponsors who made it possible, and a very special Thank You to T&T Construction, who, for nearly a decade, not only made all of our form work for our entries, but continues to bring large amounts of enthusiasm and dedication to each one of our designs! Without their hard work, we would have been just as lost as Lone Starr and Princess Vespa in the desert! sp;
AIA Houston 2011 Gingerbread Buildoff
On December 10, 2011 English + Associates participated for the second year in AIA Houston’s Gingerbread Buildoff Competition. This year we took home the Grande Prix de Show for our rendition of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia!
Team Members Kathleen English, Courtney Beam, Angelia Carlson Mackey, Raymond Romero, and Steve Stelzer from the City of Houston Green Building Resource Center used sheets of gingerbread, crispy treats, assorted candies, waffle cones, coffee, parsley, fondant icing, spaghetti, and five hours to build the entirely edible masterpiece.
Houston Green Office Challenge
English + Associates is currently participating in the City of Houston’s Green Office Challenge. Our efforts include attending a series of Friday morning presentations on a variety of topics to help us achieve our green goals and uploading our current data and usage practices onto the Green Office Challenge website to create a baseline metric measuring our efforts each month on things such as energy usage, paper usage, water usage, etc. We receive points for each new policy or practice we implement, and at the end of our year-long challenge, our hard work will be recognized by the City’s Mayor. To maintain our efforts, we hold monthly meetings with the E+A team to share the results and to discover ways where we can improve our efforts to achieve maximum results in this program. Currently, we are tracking at the Platinum Level, the highest tier.
Meador Library is LEED Gold Certified
Harris County Evelyn Meador Library is LEED Gold Certified! This library is the first Harris County Public Library owned and operated LEED Gold Certified facility. The new library project is a ground-up one-story building that includes the following sustainable features:
- Water conserving fixtures were installed to help reduce the buildings water consumption by 50%
- Drainage was accomplished with the use of Bio-swales that help absorb and filter the storm water run off before being stored in the underground retention tank found beneath the parking lot
- Porous pavers were used for sidewalks to minimize the amount of run off and environmental impact
- Highly reflective cool roofing and reflective paving work to reduce the heat island effect on-site
- Glazing was specified to be a high efficiency Low-E system that allowed for large expanses of windows, which allow an abundance of natural light and views to the exterior
- Energy efficient lighting systems were utilized to minimize the buildings operating costs and ultimately reduce the buildings carbon footprint
- Green Label Plus certified carpet and other materials low in VOC’s create better indoor air quality forthe staff and visitors
City of Houston Fire Station 90 is LEED Gold Certified! Fire Station 90 is the first City of Houston Fire Station to be LEED Gold Certified! The new Fire Station project is a ground-up one-story building that includes the following sustainable features:
- Water detention systems, including the installation of raintanks that collect stormwater and store it on-site to be reused for irrigation
- Drainage swales were designed to mimic the natural site run-off before development, and were planted with native vegetation to help filter suspended solids and clean the stormwater
- Pervious concrete parking spaces also help decrease the rate of flow, retaining water on site
- Highly reflective metal roofing and reflective paving reduce the heat island effect in the City
- Centrally located clerestory windows bring natural sunlight into the interior and reduce the need for artificial light during daytime occupied hours
- Low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce water use
- Green Label Plus certified carpet and other materials low in VOCs create better indoor air quality for the fire fighters and visitors
2011 Best Places to Work
For the second year in a row, English + Associates won the #1 Houston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work Award for companies with 10-100 employees. This was our fourth year to celebrate being a Best Place to Work, and we couldn’t do it without our amazing staff. In today’s challenging economy, we would like to thank our employees for their hard work and dedication for keeping our company a fun and good spirited place to work!
Affordable Green Presentation
The City of Houston’s Green Resource Center hosted an evening to educate the interested public in designing “green” without significant budget implications in residential and commercial design. The commercial design presentation, given by Rose Lopez, RID, LEED AP BD+C, reviewed each LEED CI credit in an effort to break down the credits and note which points have cost implications and which do not. Lifecycle costs and Return on Investments were discussed and outlined with regard to “New Thinking” with focus on non-conventional construction, high-efficiency light fixtures, and green material costs and benefits.
E+A Has a "Cool Crib"
English + Associates was featured in Bisnow's "Cool Cribs" Newsletter for our unique Church office space. Catie Dixon, Bisnow Media's Commercial Real Estate Reporter stopped by our office and spoke with Kathleen English and Kate Sansom to learn more about the task of renovating what used to be a Baptist Tabernacle.
KBR Green Presentations – January 2012
Courtney Beam, LEED AP BD+C and Rose Lopez, RID, LEED AP BD+C co-organized a series of six presentations for KBR employees to further their knowledge about their new office space at the Eldridge Oaks office building, which will ultimately be LEED Certified.
English + Associates offered presentations to highlight specific design strategies and incorporate ways to integrate sustainable practices at home, as well as what they can do in their personal lives to incorporate a “green” lifestyle and a green design for home renovations and new construction. E+A is always excited to share our green knowledge with our Clients and friends to lead them on their own Green Path and help them achieve their goals. This was just one portion of KBR’s Employee and Visitor Education efforts.
Rice Design Alliance’s Cite 87 Magazine Release
On December 6, 2011, E+A hosted the release party for Rice Design Alliance’s Cite 87 Magazine. English + Associates’ building was featured in Gwendolyn Zepeda’s article, “The Old Sixth Ward Historic District: Or As We Used to Call it, Del Sesto”. The article describes Zepeda’s recollection of the old Sixth Ward neighborhood and English + Associates’ home in a converted church as she knew it during her childhood.
ACE Mentor Program
ACE Mentor Program is a group of Houston-area professionals who are interested in sharing what it means to work in the fields of architecture, construction, and engineering. We want to show high school students what it is we do, why we enjoy it, and to encourage those who are considering choices about their futures to follow in our footsteps, or simply continue on with higher education. English + Associates has been involved with ACE since it was brought to Houston four years ago, not only as mentors and sponsors, but also as board members of the program. Our involvement has had a huge impact on the students, as well as the architects who want to help young students who are looking to join the architecture industry.
On November 12, 2011, English + Associates won Honorable Mention at the CANstruction Houston Design/Build Competition for our entry, “Mad as a Hatter over Hunger”. Donated by Pinnacle Foods, we used nearly 3,500 Armour Vienna Sausage cans to construct our teapot that was just a little over six feet tall. After the competition, each can was donated to the Houston Food Bank in our efforts to help those less fortunate.
Life doesn't get any better than grabbing a cold one and exploring the wide open spaces of the great State of Texas. And what better way to do it than drinking a Lone Star Beer in a 1963 Airstream Camper? English + Associates combined our love of Classic Airstreams, cold beer, and the Lone Star State to create a fun and lighthearted doghouse that will ensure your puppy stays as dry as he does stylish!
Many Happy Hours were had to collect the 212 Lone Star 16oz beer cans we used in building a replica of a 1963 Airstream Trailer for the 2011 Barkitecure Houston event. In October, English + Associates' Dog House was auctioned off at the 2011 Barkitecture event to support the Pup Squad Animal Rescue. Our contribution helped Pup Squad reach their $15,000 goal!
English + Associates participated for the 21st year in the 2011 Houston AIA SandCastle Competition. We flashed back to the 80s and grabbed our original Nintendo systems, where it all started, with a tribute to Super Mario Brothers. In doing so, we took home the trophy for Best Traditional SandCastle for “Mario’s Castle”.
In 2011, English + Associates signed on as a participating firm in the AIA+2030 Challenge commitment. This national initiative seeks to achieve net zero use of fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the architecture and building community.
In signing onto the 2030 challenge, E+A has committed to submitting design and usage data about the energy efficiency of buildings we design to the AIA+2030 website, educating our clients about the importance of reducing carbon emissions, and endeavoring to design buildings with higher energy efficiencies and increasingly lower carbon emissions to be used to measure our design metrics compared to those in our region and across the country in a combined nationwide effort to reach net zero by 2030.
In addition to the firm’s commitment, Kathleen English, AIA chaired AIA Houston’s 2030 committee, bringing a 40-hour curriculum about building energy efficiency to Houston. The program teaches and promotes strategies to increase efficiency towards meeting the 2030 net zero goal. As the 2011 Challenge Chair, Kathleen English, AIA brought the program to Houston and chaired a committee of architects, as well as the effort to secure 40 hours of speakers over a five-month curriculum.