In alignment with the owner’s ethos of the SXSW festival, the SXSW Center provides an environmentally conscious design that exemplifies Austin. Located on a compact urban site, the 13-story office demonstrates low-impact design, innovative water quality treatment, and specialized attention to tree preservation, earning the project LEED Gold certification.
Through the strategic placement of rain gardens, the project achieves 100% on-site stormwater quality treatment, and the combination of drought-tolerant plantings and high-efficiency irrigation achieve an 86% reduction in water usage. Pervious paving over soil cells along the streetscape encourages maximum infiltration of surface water runoff, providing additional water storage to nourish the landscape. The shape of the building and the character of the site are informed by the preservation of six live oak and pecan heritage trees, demonstrating that responsible development can not only work around existing trees, but celebrate them as the cornerstone of the design.