Texas 2010 design rank: No 41
Green rank: No. 5
Dallas-based BOKA Powell began encouraging clients to design and build green about five years ago, and is fifth on Texas’ Top Green Design Firm rankings.
“We’re finding owners want green more than we thought they would,” says John E. Orfield, LEED AP, a principal with BOKA Powell. “Owners are realizing they have a competitive edge by having green.”
BOKA Powell takes a pragmatic approach to design and aims for ensuring a project’s long-term worth. In fact, five office buildings BOKA Powell designed and that were completed before LEED started have achieved certification as existing buildings. Orfield says that was due to their original intrinsic value.
Orfield says there is a greater interest in room sensors that adjust HVAC and lighting systems to maximize energy performance and also the use of recycled products, including flooring, countertops with glass and sustainably harvested materials. With these types of products going mainstream, costs have decreased.
The firm is in its 31st year. It focuses on hotel, student housing and health-care markets and has offices in Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth with 19 LEED green associates and accredited professionals.
Many serve on the company’s SURGE (Sustainability, Recycle, Green, Energy) team to promote green office practices. The team updates its LEED skills and stays on top of changes in the market.
BOKA Powell architects designed the $328.6-million, 1,000-room Dallas Convention Center Hotel, which broke ground this year and is seeking LEED-silver certification, and the $180-million, 37-story, mixed-use Block 21/The W Hotel project in Austin, tracking for LEED silver or gold.