Environmental Groups – Building/Design


About 39% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 came from energy consumption in buildings.  About 21% of U.S. solid waste in 2014 came from construction and demolition of buildings.  Toxins embedded in many building products compromise indoor air quality.  Austin created the first green building program in the world to comprehensively encourage resource conservation and better health.  It was widely supported by local environmentalists and Central Texas builders.


Center for Maximum

Potential Building Systems

8604 FM 969

Austin, TX 78724

Gail Vittori (512) 928-4786

E-mail: center@cmpbs.org

Net: cmpbs.org

Purpose: The Center, established in 1975, is a non-profit education, research and demonstration organization.  Our mission is to enhance community resilience, health and economic vitality by integrating air, water, food, energy, and material balanced systems through protocols, prototypes and policies.

Projects/Activities: Current initiatives include: innovations and inventions addressing integrated water and energy systems, community-scale, low-carbon and healthy building systems and materials; ecoBalance planning and design; advancing policies to promote transparency, disclosure, and reporting for construction materials.

We are the fiscal sponsor of the Austin Green Awards (twitter.com/atxgreenawards) and Biomimicry Texas (facebook.com/BiomimicryTX).

The Center’s free monthly Open House/tour is held on the 1st Friday of the month. Call to confirm dates and times.

Volunteer and Intern Opportunities: Architecture, planning, construction, research, landscaping, social media, office assistance.  The Center offers a limited number of full-time internships.

Newsletters/Publications: Office brochure, publication list, research briefs available on request and on Web site.



Lauren Rochell (512) 786-5123

E-mail: lauren.rochell@gmail.com

Net: designbuildlive.org

Facebook: facebook.com/dblatx

Purpose: Design~Build~Live (DBL), evolved from the Sustainable Building Coalition, which formed in 1992 as a result of the creation of Austin’s Green Building Program.  DBL exists to share, practice, promote, and nurture natural building and sustainable living.  We serve as a vehicle for discovery, learning and integration of sustainable and regenerative life practices based on natural, organic, local/regional materials, and methods.  Permaculture and related holistic practices that incorporate human equity and respect are integral to our work.

Projects/Activities: We offer educational opportunities for do-it-yourselfers and for building professionals including our monthly expert presentations which are open to the public at no charge (donations gratefully accepted) and hands-on workshops that incorporate real-life skills in a positive, productive atmosphere.  Additional offerings include an informative e-newsletter, site visits, classes, and special events often in collaboration with like-minded organizations.  DBL welcomes volunteers and donor partners.  Visit our Web site and get involved.

Meetings: We have a monthly presentation and meeting the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7 PM at various locations.  See our Web site or Facebook page for details.


U.S. Green Building Council

Central Texas Region

P.O. Box 157

Austin, TX 78767

Kay McManus (512) 470-9923

E-mail: ed@usgbc-centraltexas.org

Net: usgbc-centraltexas.org

Purpose: The Central Texas Regional Council is the local voice of the U.S. Green Building Council, a national non-profit organization working to promote the use of green building and sustainable land development practices.  The Region represents 34 counties and promotes the adoption of LEED® building standards by producing programs and educational events, as well as serving as a key informational resource for local, regional, and state government.

Projects/Activities: We offer regular lunch n’learns, green building tours, and other programs throughout the year.  We have strong alliances with related businesses and professional organizations in Central Texas and advocate with industry and governmental bodies on an ongoing basis.

Meetings: Regular regional meetings; building tours/mixers; lectures; symposiums; special events.

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteer committees include: Communications; Education and Events; Advocacy; Development; Green Schools; Emerging Professionals; and Membership. Internships are also available year round.

Newsletters/Publications: Regular newsletter; e-blasts promoting upcoming educational programs; special events.

Dues: Two different types: For organizations, membership of USGBC National (www.usgbc.org); for individuals, membership of the Texas Chapter, which includes participation at the regional level (www.usgbc-centraltexas.org).















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