Green Home Design

Green Home Design

Title: Texas Green Home Architects Houston, Austin | Houston Green Homes | Environment Associates

Description: Green home design in Texas by LaVerne Williams, Texas’s expert on sustainability and green homes



Simply put, five main factors influence the design of a green home: energy efficiency, water conservation, material selections, indoor air quality, and consideration of the site.


Of course, there is more to it than that.


Building an authentic green home requires a deep understanding of the climate and the microclimate of the lot and site planning, the building envelope, energy and resource conservation, etc. It requires wholistically integrating the building systems, components, and renewable systems with the site to lower building and ongoing living costs.


A green home respects nature, which provides us many free benefits:

–          Breezes

–          Sunshine for heat and energy

–          Rainwater for all our needs

–          Cleared air – the breath of life

–          Sound absorption for emotional peace

–          Grounding for free radical health


A green home is designed for security

–          Food gardens

–          Comfortable outdoor spaces in all seasons

–          Enhanced water storage on site

–          Reduced wildfire threat

–          Solar energy and wind power

–          Solar heating and cooling

–          Natural beauty of visual and acoustic effects


A green home is designed for long, healthy, delightful living

–          Healthy air, water, and sensory reactions.

–          Aging

–          Durability

–          Low Maintenance

–          Comfort in all seasons with minimal air conditioning or heating

–          Visual comfort and appeal

–          Adaptability of the home for several generations

Design For Life Technologies and Features

Design For Life Technologies and Features

Title: Texas Green Home Architects Houston, Austin | Houston Green Homes | Environment Associates

Description: Green home design in Texas by LaVerne Williams, Texas’s expert on sustainability and green homes


An Everyday Oasis

Environment Associates designs aesthetically pleasing safe havens for retreat and recovery from environmental stresses and toxins. (Click here [link to Healthful Homes] to learn more about our healthful homes.) Our homes have clean indoor air, very low energy demand, and are places where you can live in relative comfort without the need for power of any kind (very useful in the aftermath of hurricanes or other events). Because our homes are so energy efficient, they require a significantly smaller and less expensive renewable energy system (such as solar PV). Some clients even collect and store enough rainwater for all their personal and gardening needs.




• Design for the site’s microclimate, place, and ecology

• Natural finishes or no-VOC finishes

• Radiant heat barriers and heat-reflecting exterior materials and colors

• Advanced insulation methods and materials

• Harvesting naturally occurring renewable energy and onsite water resources

• Use of interior thermal storage walls to increase mean radiant temperature comfort and provide natural heating and cooling storage capacity

• Permaculture-based land planning and stewardship

• Low maintenance materials and detailing to provide long-term durability and ease of replacement

• Use of appropriate, cost-effective alternative construction technologies

• Appropriate use of onsite, local, and regional construction materials

• Satisfying aesthetics and functional efficiency are part of the basics

• Fully day‐lighted interiors

• Tightly air‐sealed building envelope

• Advanced natural ventilation methodologies

• Design for naturally cooled/heated exterior spaces to extend outdoor living

• Very high-energy performance design and detailing

• Cradle-to-Cradle concepts to reduce and eliminate toxic waste

• Smaller building footprints are strongly encouraged

• Beyond Net Zero Energy performance‐capable architecture to encourage income-producing renewable energy powered homes

LEED Experience

LEED Experience

Title: LaVerne Williams, LEED architect Houston

Description: EA, the first Houston firm to complete a certified LEED Platinum project anywhere on the planet


LaVerne Williams, AIA, LEED AP, is certified as a LEED accredited professional. LEED is an internationally recognized green building program that provides third-party verifications of green buildings. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.


LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value
  • Reduce waste sent to landfills
  • Conserve energy and water
  • Be healthier and safer for occupants
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities


Environment Associates is the first Houston architectural firm to complete a certified LEED Platinum project anywhere on the planet!


We also built the first certified LEED Silver home in the Texas Hill Country.


Several of our Houston projects have earned Platinum, Gold, and Silver awards.

Healthful Homes- Going Beyond Green

Healthful Homes – going beyond green

Title: Green Homes for Health and Chemical Sensitivities

Description: Environment Associates for home interiors free from environmental stresses and toxins


When LaVerne Williams started EA in 1975, he was plagued with health challenges, which doctors then would only call severe allergic reactions. By creating a workplace where he reduced exposures to allergens and toxic chemicals, this created a “healthy oasis” in Houston not only for him but for all visitors and associates.

Right from the start, his commitment to environmentally sustainable building practices included the interior environment as well as the exterior.

Over the years, LaVerne has helped chemically sensitive people in Houston to create healthy home environments.

Health advocate Sue McDonald suffers from multiple chemical sensitivities, many of which were life threatening. In 1995 she experienced an immune system “crash,” from exposure to synthetic chemicals in her home. She called on Environment Associates to guide her in creating a healthful home environment. By making these necessary changes, she has in large part regained her health

Leading Houston environmental attorney Jim Blackburn and his accountant wife Garland Kerr invited LaVerne to help them assure a healthy home environment for themselves and guests with multiple chemical sensitivities in the new home they were building. They have enjoyed a healthful home for more than 20 years.

Each year, dozens of clients engage EA’s consultingservices to help them identify and help cure their homes’ adverse effects on their health. Dozens more engage EA’s design counseling services to help prevent their new home or remodeling project from becoming another “sick home.”

Wareloft Text

Mayor’s & Houston Green Building Resource Center Tour Featured Project, May, 2012

Houston Texas

The Wareloft resulted from a couple’s desires for an environmentally sensitive home wedded to property they wanted to keep as natural as possible. It had to have interior spaces that are laid back, wide open, adaptable and accommodating for various activities and gatherings. It must provide ample room, have a weaving studio and a study and have gallery-like spaces for the owners’ created art. Using very little energy and having comfortable breezes inside even without power were part of their expectations, as was having a home that had the versatility and aesthetic appeal that loft and warehouse spaces have for them.

The purposely designed result suits the owners’ objective so well that the first expression uttered from new visitors is almost always “Wow!” (about 70% of the time) according to the owners. Weathering Hurricane Ike without damage, it provided comfortable living until power was restored weeks later. Without any PV solar assist, their total energy bill averaged $108/mo for 2010 and their highest electric bill, $137, was for the hottest 30 days ever for Houston (June 15 to July 15, 2009). This proved that the architect’s signature “Design for Life” & Passive Sustainability works very well indeed, despite this 3148 sf home having an interior volume equivalent to a 5800 sf home with 9ft ceilings. This is a Certified LEED Silver rated home on property that is also now a Certified Wildlife Sanctuary by the NWF.

Wareloft Pictures