Hurricane Harvey brought record rainfall and flooding to the Houston-Galveston region. The impacts of the storm and ensuing flooding included loss of lives, homes and livelihoods. In response, researchers from the region with expertise in hydrology, climate science, engineering, coastal resiliency, energy, community development and urban planning came together to strategize on solutions.
In the March newsletter, our guest contributor, Rives Taylor from Gensler, examined the collaborative design process associated with our new headquarters facility. Since then, we have moved into our new home and are on track to achieving a LEED Platinum certification for the building. The new building will function as more than office space for our research team; the new building is designed to be a working showcase and manifestation of our sustainability vision.
In this issue of our newsletter, we invite you to visit a webpage dedicated to our new building, aptly titled HARC’s New Home: A Vision of Sustainability Realized. Visitors can learn about the building’s design, features, technologies, and innovative sustainable underpinnings by exploring the interactive story map. The page will serve as a repository for building related announcements and features; and in the coming months, we will introduce a dashboard that will provide real-time and historic building performance metrics.
Upcoming newsletters will include more in-depth examinations of our building and its associated technologies. Through this Closer to Home series, HARC researchers and guest contributors will bring our home closer to yours by examining and explaining a variety of topics in depth including renewables, with a focus on solar and geothermal, ecological surveys, building materials, lighting, mechanical systems and HVAC, native landscapes and irrigation, and building automation, monitoring, and smart technology interfaces.
The goal of our building webpage and future Closer to Home features is to inform and empower you on sustainable practices and technologies that you can incorporate into your home, be it your office or residence, and day-to-day actions to further minimize your footprint on our natural resources. After all, HARC’s mission is to provide independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers and to operate as a research hub finding solutions for a sustainable future.