Civic Futures Awards

Cultivating equity in the built environment

Austin Energy

Green Building Commercial

The problem

A green building works not only to mitigate climate change and benefit the economy; the critical piece is to advance human culture, and includes whether a building provides a healthy environment for the people who construct and use them.

Solution / Approach

The Austin Energy Green Building commercial team developed an Innovation Guide with ways for designers and builders to promote equity in buildings. The guide includes methods to design inclusive restrooms, support family planning, include affordable housing, and support construction skills training.

Core team
  • Garrett Jaynes
  • Mark Leger
  • Jeff Wacker
  • Michael Husted
  • Greg Arcangeli
  • Mary Petrovich
  • Kristine Walker
  • Sarah Talkington
Key advisors
  • Jessica Wolff
  • Joel Sanders
  • Mandy Lee
  • Gail Vittori
  • Umesh Atre
  • Heidi Kasper
What can make it sustainable?

Designers and builders are recognizing new ways that they can play a role in bolstering disadvantaged communities through design, by seeing sustainability as a social justice issue and creating places of support and inclusion.

Advice to others

In an environment when cost drives most construction decisions, promoting equity through the built environment requires that designers and builders be advocates for providing an inclusive community.