NEGRETE & KOLAR ARCHITECTS llp's commitment to sustainable design principles is an integral part of who we are. As responsible architects, we cannot pursue design where material, energy, water, and environmental resources are wasted either in ecological or economical terms. In our practice, indoor air quality and natural lighting are carefully considered on all projects with the goal of providing healthy environments for all building occupants. Our history of involvement with environmental issues, energy conservation, and other sustainable design techniques is extensive and spans many projects.

While we focus first on simple, common sense, sustainable building strategies, such as proper solar orientation, shading studies and selection of regionally available materials, we also look to technological innovations in conservation when appropriate and we have been increasingly alert to energy efficiency and water saving alternatives. Some means toward these goals include solar panels, low-flow plumbing fixtures, balancing daylighting with artificial lighting, and thermal water and ice storage systems. First cost, operational costs, and maintenance costs must always be balanced against each client’s specific performance goals.


With our LEED® Accredited Professionals on staff, NEGRETE & KOLAR llp fully embraces the United States Green Building Council's LEED® concepts as an integral part of our design process. We attend green building conferences and seminars structured to educate the design community on the principles of sustainable design.

In July 1993, Negrete & Kolar participated in one of the first green building conferences sponsored by the Texas General Services Commission on sustainable building.

Our team subsequently designed an addition and renovation to the Texas Department of Public Safety office in Austin utilizing sustainable building initiatives and commission guidelines.

Most recently we attended the 2009 USGBC Greenbuild Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

As a standard practice, NEGRETE & KOLAR llp directs consulting engineers to constantly evaluate methodologies and products manufactured to reduce energy consumption and to promote sustainability. Equally important considerations include: utility infrastructure, transportation network, cost considerations and environmental assessment to determine toxic contamination, flooding and ground percolation criteria.


1. Utilization of topography and soil type to maximize site and structural fill material as a cut-and-fill operation without bringing in outside fill.

2. Optimize building orientation to preserve existing trees and take advantage of daylight, reinforcing planning concept with energy efficiency measures.

3. Specify construction waste management practices to divert materials from the landfill.

4. Select native or adapted trees and vegetation that fit the regional and microclimatic conditions and require minimal irrigation.

5. Select appropriate materials, finishes, adhesives and sealants to protect the indoor air quality.

6. Select materials and building products that are economical, durable and of low embodied energy to reduce industrial and environmental impact. Also, seek regional availability to reduce transportation cost and stimulate the local economy.

These measures constitute a few of hundreds of sustainable and environmentally-conscious design concepts, resulting in lower construction and operational cost while limiting impact to natural resources utilized in manufacturing and transportation.

The process of integrating sustainable goals includes coordination with the design team and the owner’s objectives and budget.