h+uo BLOG

A Learning Center That Goes Beyond The Books

Posted in Uncategorized by Kristie
November 24, 2015



Our work on the Lakeline Learning Center is pushing hatch +ulland owen architects to the cutting edge of sustainable, green design.


As just the third Living Building Challenge project set to receive full certification in the State of Texas, this unique education facility is designed to meet exceptionally high green standards.


The Living Building Challenge, overseen by the International Living Future Institute challenges all designers to “define the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and act to rapidly diminish the gap between current limits and the end-game positive solutions.”


Foundation Communities asked h+uo architects to help design an ambitious building that meets the Living Building Challenge’s seven performance categories called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty.  This meant that in addition to the space being beautiful and supportive of the human spirit, the building would also need to collect its own water, gather its own energy, and process its own waste.


The program of the Lakeline Learning Center is also ambitious. While most apartment complexes provide their residents with a central clubhouse featuring fitness equipment or a pool, Foundation Communities, a local non-profit specializing in affordable housing, offers its residents a central building focused entirely on education and community uplift. At the Learning Center, school age children receive after-school and summer learning opportunities, while adults are offered financial education, tax preparation assistance, and even Zumba fitness classes.


Working on this project has given our team the opportunity to examine the holistic operations of a building and their direct relationship to the natural world. Also, we have never before peered so deeply into the chemical makeup of the building materials used in our work. The lessons learned are already spilling over into our approach to other projects.


Project Manager Kristina Olivent explained, “The Lakeline Learning Center has been a great learning experience for our office and an ambitious model for our architectural thinking and process moving forward.”


To learn more about Foundation Communities visit them at: foundcom.org

To learn more about ILFI visit them at: living-future.org

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