via movable furniture and partitions.
The seamless integration of sustainability into all aspects of LifeWorks sets a precedent for responsible development that encourages public health, connectivity and diversity in fractured, low-income communities. LifeWorks is the fourth commercial project to receive a 5-star sustainability rating from the Austin Energy Green Building program, the nation’s first green building program and the model for the LEED certification system. Since the commercial rating program’s inception in 1995, only 2.7% of projects have achieved a 5-star rating.
Despite a tight budget ($158/sq ft), sustainability was conceived of as a central part of the design. During construction, 82.9% of waste was recycled or salvaged, and 52.5% of the building materials were sourced in-state. When compared to a baseline case study by a third-party commissioning agent, the LifeWorks facility uses 79.6% less energy (40% via energy-saving features plus 39.6% via on-site solar power generation), 80% less potable water for irrigation, and 28.3% less indoor potable water. Over 90% of the occupied spaces have exterior views and natural light.