Commercial Design

No matter what our attempts to inform, it is our ability to inspire that will turn the tides.
                 — Syracuse Cultural Workers


Conceptual drawing, Siddons multifamily projectStewardship approaches commercial design with the goal of creating high-performance buildings with soul. To the typical primary concerns of cost, functionality and aesthetics, we add humanism, energy efficiency, and environmental responsibility.

Humanism... and the Bottom Line
Buildings are for people after all. From an economic standpoint, employees are the single largest expense for most organizations, so keeping workers comfortable, productive and healthy makes good business sense. A sustainable, high-performance design approach promotes glare-free daylighted spaces, HVAC design that brings in ample fresh air and maintains proper humidity levels — controlling mold — and building materials that do not emit toxic chemicals. All good for people and, therefore, the bottom line.

Energy Efficiency
Building owners should demand energy efficient buildings. A building that is properly oriented on its site, is designed for its climatic conditions, and incorporates a properly designed high-performance HVAC system saves energy resources and operating costs while providing optimal thermal comfort for the occupants. While initial costs for such a better building will necessarily be higher, a properly designed high performance building will make economic sense on a life cycle cost basis.

Environmental Responsibility
More and more businesses are realizing the value of projecting an image of environmental stewardship. Choosing to house a business in a sustainably designed building loudly demonstrates an organization's commitment to environmental protection.

Stewardship has the knowledge and experience to lead a sustainable design team in the creation of small to medium size high performance buildings. With over a decade of experience in energy efficient and sustainable design, our staff is dedicated to producing projects of high performance and high quality for the welfare of people and the environment.

Commercial Design Portfolio

Residential Design

Architecture provokes spiritual reactions in man...the mission of architects is to make these explicit.
                 — Adolf Loos


We work intimately with our clients and their sites to custom fit the project to Owner's needs and the home's unique environment, wrapping the house around the Owner and knitting it into the environment. We pride ourselves on creating sensibly-sized spaces that feel and function like much larger spaces. Our goal is to create soulful, livable, touchable, nurturing, health-enhancing indoor environments that gently, respectfully transition to the outdoor environment.

Site plan drawing, Atwater projectStewardship puts high priority on designing homes that respond to the local climate and the site. Climate-responsive design results in a more comfortable, daylighted spaces that cost less to operate and save energy resources. Site-responsive design maximizes the aesthetic potential of the immediate surroundings and distant views while maximizing preservation of the natural environment, neighborhood and community.

Barnett residence, a rammed earth houseSustainable design goes far beyond incorporating a few recycled-content materials and using low VOC paint. In addition to the aforementioned site- and Owner-related considerations, Stewardship's residential design projects incorporate an array of sustainable concepts and systems:

  • Rainwater harvesting and water conservation
  • Passive solar heating and cooling and natural ventilation
  • Indoor-outdoor relationships
  • Use of local and on-site materials such as stone, wood and clay
  • Enhanced indoor air quality through careful material and heating/cooling system selection
  • High performance heating and cooling systems, including hydronic and ducted systems
  • Spatial efficiency, multi-function spaces and future expansion planning
  • Use of local and regional artisans and craftsmen
  • Incorporation of architectural antiques and/or salvaged materials

Residential Portfolio


Site Planning and Master Planning

Site analysisSite AnalysisOne of Stewardship's highest priorities is to help ensure that a building site is responsibly developed to its optimal and best use. This includes preserving and restoring any significant natural features, optimizing building location and orientation, and maximizing indoor-outdoor relationships. In addition to it being an integral part of our projects, we have given presentations on and written about site analysis and site planning many times.

Site Planning and Master Planning

Sustainable Design Consultation
LEED® Project Consultation
(These services are no longer available)

Consulting to Prime Architects and Building Owners
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, fountain of locally-quarried stone with native plantsAs a sustainable design consultant, Stewardship serves as an information resource and assists the design team in integrating sustainable systems and materials into the overall project design. On projects seeking certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) program, Stewardship serves as coordinator during the design process and continues through construction, assembling the documentation required for LEED submittal. As LEED Accredited Professionals, we coordinate, track and compile all LEED-required submittal information for certification. We begin all projects by working with the entire design team to set sustainable design priorities and goals, frequently initiating the process with a Stewardship-coordinated charette. For both LEED and non-LEED projects, we make periodic site visits, attend project meetings, and track job site recycling / construction waste management efforts.

Consulting to General Contractors
Stewardship, Inc. offers LEED and non-LEED sustainable consulting services for General Contractors. We can assist the Contractor in meeting all types of sustainable design requirements, including contractor and subcontractor education, documentation, construction waste management and materials research. Our LEED Faculty member and LEED-Accredited Professionals can conduct training workshops and/or individualized on-the-job training for the General Contractor's staff.

Sustainable Design and LEED CredentialsTivoli Systems company cafeteria

  • Completion of LEED training and certification as LEED Accredited Professionals
  • Founding member of City of Austin Green Building Program
  • Founding member of Sustainable Building Coalition
  • LEED faculty member, conducting training workshops nationwide
  • Scientific Certification Systems, Forest Stewardship Council certification auditor
  • Creation of various sustainable building materials and information databases
  • Former project manager and contributing author for the Sustainable Design Guidelines for Austin/Bergstrom Airport and City of Austin Municipal Buildings (Sue Barnett)
  • Founding member of USGBC and contributor to the development process of LEED rating system for the first 5 years (Sue Barnett)
  • Member of Task Force to Update Austin Energy Code Chair of the ASTM E50 subcommittee for Sustainable Commercial Buildings. Contributor to the materials selection portion of ASTM standard for residential sustainable buildings (Sue Barnett)
  • Member of Sustainable Development Incentives Task Force, City of Austin
  • Contributor to NIST BEES methodology of material analysis (Sue Barnett)
  • Provided back up material for the federal government's Executive Orders for sustainable building projects

Sustainable Design and LEED Consulting Project ExperienceRalph Alblanedo Fire & EMS Station

  • Circle C Fire and EMS Station (LEED)
  • North Village Branch Library
  • Convention Center Parking Garage & District Plant
  • Tivoli Software (LEED)
  • Visitor Information and Education Center, Westcave Nature Preserve
  • Brown Building
  • Entry Fountain at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • Church of Conscious Harmony
  • American Institute for Learning (now Austin YouthWorks)
  • Del Valle Fire Station
  • Palmer Auditorium Deconstruction
  • City Hall / CSC Deconstruction
  • Austin Waldorf High School Master Plan
  • Town Lake Animal Center Phase I
  • Freebirds World Burrito
  • Ralph Alblanedo Fire & EMS Station

Sustainable Design Consultation Portfolio