HomeAway is only the second company in Austin to achieve LEED gold for Commercial Interior Design from the U.S. Green Building Council, and is the first mixed-use project in Austin to achieve the recognition.

Photo: Rosy Lea Photography

The office space for HomeAway, a vacation rental company, is located on the second, third and fourth floors of a mixed-use building at the corner of Fifth and Baylor streets in Austin. It encompasses approximately 51,000 sq ft of floor space.

At the start of the interior construction phase, SpawMaxwell crews were working on the shell space build-out with Hensel Phelps, the base building general contractor, while it was being completed. A project kick-off meeting—and subsequent weekly meetings—among the owner, Hensel Phelps and interiors architect CTA Group along with all appropriate trade partners helped the two project crews create a sense of teamwork.

SpawMaxwell’s collaborative approach and expertise with complex interior construction helped mitigate the challenges associated with splitting base and interior packages. During the five-month overlap of interior and base-building construction, SpawMaxwell worked closely with Hensel Phelps on many aspects of construction, including safety practices and reporting; schedule and sequencing; material hoisting; building utilities; and delivery schedules.

The two contractors also worked with the city of Austin to coordinate permitting and inspections. HomeAway received a temporary certificate of occupancy, somewhat unusual, because of minor deficiencies still outstanding in the base building at the time of the occupancy request. The temporary certificate was granted due to the closely coordinated inspection process between SpawMaxwell with the city throughout interior construction.

One example of quality craftsmanship is the design and fabrication of an automated snow globe turning device. The device turns a collection of snow globes, which are emblematic of the vacation experience. When the device is activated, the globes are rotated, activating the “snow.” The device was designed and fabricated by Carlo Nieri of Nieri Design of Austin while construction was ongoing, and includes intricate controls and motors.

Key Players

Submitted by: SpawMaxwell, a Balfour Beatty Co.
General contractor: SpawMaxwell, a Balfour Beatty Co., Austin
Architect: CTA Group, Austin
MEP engineer: ACR Engineering, Austin