Tag Archives: Foundation Communities

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


Our Time At The Design Charrette

Posted in Uncategorized by Kristie
May 9, 2014

Earlier this week, Tom Hatch and Megan Matthews attended a two-day design charrette on the Living Building Challenge, co-hosted by Foundation Communities and the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems. The charrette sought to identify design and community strategies through collaboration that would create a living building, one which “operates as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture”, for two potential new community centers for Foundation Communities.  The Living Building Challenge takes the concept of green, sustainable architecture to the next level by asking buildings to not take from their environment, but instead to give back.

Broken down into two teams, the 20 or so attendees discussed and looked at the seven performance areas of Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity, and Beauty through the lens of restorative and regenerative design.  By the end of the charrette on Tuesday, Tom and Megan left with a renewed appreciation for not only the services Foundation Communities provides to their residents here in Central Texas, but for the collaborative design atmosphere we had been selected to be a part of and ideas for moving forward.





About Foundation Communities

Foundation Communities provides first class, affordable homes and free onsite support services for thousands of working families with kids, as well as veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. They offer an innovative, proven model that empowers their residents and neighbors to achieve educational success, financial stability, and healthier lifestyles. They own and operate 17 properties in Austin and North Texas.


About the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems

The Center designs and tests innovative programs that integrate air, water, food, energy, and material systems to build healthy and sustainable communities.

Through the creation of Protocols, Policies, and Prototypes, the Center inspires ecologically balanced environments, stewards natural resources, and elevates community resilience and economic vitality.


About the Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge™ is a green building certification program that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions.  Projects that achieve this level of performance can claim to be the ‘greenest’ anywhere, and will serve as role models for others that follow.

The Challenge is comprised of seven performance areas, or ‘Petals’: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Petals are subdivided into a total of twenty Imperatives, each of which focuses on a specific sphere of influence. This compilation of Imperatives can be applied to almost every conceivable Typology, or project type, be it a building (both renovation of an existing structure, or new construction), infrastructure, landscape or community development.  Learn more about the Living Building Challenge by downloading the full Living Building Challenge Standard document found here: http://living-future.org/lbc.


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