Austin Resource Center for the Homeless

Austin, Texas

The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless project encompassed the Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering design of a three-level, 26,820 square foot resource center and shelter for the homeless in Austin, Texas.  Areas within the homeless center for which Encotech provided design services included a medical clinic, art room, shower facility, offices, and an overnight facility.

This was one of the first buildings in Austin to be completely designed and constructed in accordance with the national standard of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System.  The project was constructed in compliance with LEED® standards and received LEED® Silver Certification.  Encotech was responsible for the design of HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems for the project.  The facility included a 13,000 gallon rain water collection system involving a manifold tank system which supplemented the non-portable water supply for the building.

Other systems which Encotech designed for this facility included a passive solar hot water system which pre-heats water for the showers, a filtration and distribution system, a ventilation air energy recovery system, and a solar photovoltaic electrical collection system.  Encotech coordinated extensively with Austin Energy to include a transformer vault as an integral part of this building.

All HVAC systems were the latest in high-efficiency design, using chlorine-free R-410a refrigerant.  Complex electronic monitoring throughout the building allowed the system to be tuned for environmental comfort and ensured minimal usage of electrical energy.