Dan Stine's picture

Early Energy Modeling and Comparing Tools to Validate Results

Blog title image of featured residential project
As an architectural design firm that makes a concerted effort to incorporate sustainable design goals into all our projects, Lake|Flato uses many tools to challenge our assumptions and validate decisions. For efficiency, we also look for ways to streamline our efforts and even democratize workflows such that design teams might accomplish their own analysis without relying on, and possibly waiting for, a specialist to do it for them. To this end, an important part of implementing a new tool or workflow is to verify the accuracy of the results. This post will, at a high level, outline our early...
Mary Beth Lineberry's picture

Evolving the Conversation on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Designing meaningful, high-performance buildings and landscapes is not a passive act. The process necessitates a sustained exercise in discerning the interconnections between environmental and human health, cultural resilience, and inclusive community building. The ties that bind are subtle yet irrevocable, with each affecting the others. To truly provide value through equitable design strategies, every community member, visitor, guest, and employee should be welcomed and be able to navigate a building or landscape confidently, independently, and with choice and dignity, avoiding separation...
Kate Sector's picture

Embodied Carbon Update: Investigations and Greenbuild

Embodied Carbon Update: Investigations and Greenbuild In 2009, Lake|Flato began its carbon reduction journey when we adopted the 2030 Challenge and started tracking operation carbon on all projects. Carbon is also known as the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with global warming potential (GWP). Buildings account for 39% of global GHG emissions, making it a high priority for designers to help reduce carbon through both operational and embodied methods. Embodied carbon specifically refers to the GWP associated with the GHG emissions produced during a material’s full life cycle (...
Ted Flato's picture

Coming Together at Kickapoo Ranch: Flake Lato 2021

Flake Lato, our annual retreat on the headwaters of the West Nueces, at the tail end of summer, just before children return to school, is always one of the most special weekends of the year. But this year, due to COVID-19, and our remote working conditions, it was more special than ever. Together, we had made it through a difficult year. Spread out all over the country and starved for camaraderie, Flake Lato was a timely and much anticipated antidote. The “seal team,” the early strike force that pulls up the shade structures and gets things organized, showed up Thursday evening, and things...
Adam Martin's picture

INVESTIGATIONS: Affordable Housing Incentive Models

Construction site for mixed income multi-family housing in San Antonio, Texas
Investigations Team: Adam Martin, Cameron Goldsmith As cities in Texas grow their economies, the demand for housing especially in and near urban areas increases, and in-turn, the price of housing increases beyond the ability of many Texans to afford a decent quality of life. A variety of government-sponsored financial incentive mechanisms exist for private developers who wish to build affordable housing. In most Texas cities, these incentive programs are not mandatory, but may be pursued by any multi-family or mixed-use development. While some publicly owned affordable housing still exists in...
Dan Stine's picture

Mixed Reality at Lake|Flato – Full Scale Holograms with the Microsoft HoloLens 2

Mixed Reality view of Lake Flato office remodel
Introduction During the architectural design process, Lake|Flato uses many techniques to convey our design solution to our clients. The options include hand sketched drawings, physical models, printed CAD drawings, real-time on-screen visualizations, virtual reality, and even augmented reality. The same is also true for our own office remodel, currently underway, here in San Antonio, Texas. This article will highlight our use of immersive mixed reality, which involves a full-scale hologram being positioned within our existing three-story building, used to experience the new office before the...
Dan Stine's picture

Tools of the Trade – Photovoltaic/Solar Simulation at Lake|Flato Architects

Photo of several PV panels
Incorporating renewable energy, such as Photovoltaic (PV) panels, into a building design is a highly effective strategy for improve building performance -- including a reduced power bill -- and reduced on-site fossil fuel consumption. Therefore, we strive to run a simulation on every project to facilitate a discussion with our clients around PV potential for a specific project even though every Lake|Flato project does not always include them. This post will highlight our process, including our simulation tool, how we calculate the energy offset, and PV array size. PV Tool Without getting into...
Justin Garrison's picture

INVESTIGATIONS: Provocations Volume 1 - Urban Landscapes

Tree canopy map of the City of Austin, Texas
Investigations Team: Ashley Hereen, Justin Garrison, Melina Phillips, James Thoreen How are urban landscapes and urban development related? How do urban landscapes influence development trends in communities within a region? How does open space influence the character of a community? How can unique environmental and ecological contexts be leveraged to create meainfgul and memorable destinations that foster community? How can design facilitate connections and enable meaninful interactions between people and their environments? These are the questions asked by our Investigations initiative in...
Nouran Abdelhamid's picture

Architecture to Connect: Egypt

Pyramids of Giza, Giza - c. 2589-2504 B.C.
The end of my 16 year long formal education was the best thing to happen to my appetite for knowledge. In November of 2020, I moved back to Cairo after a year long stay in San Antonio as a 'cultural and educational exchange visitor' to intern at Lake Flato. And boy was there a lot of culture and education to be exchanged. Working with the wonderful architects and designers at Lake Flato has taught me so much that I could have never learned in school. Beyond learning about the technical skills necessary to bring a design to fruition, it reinforced in my mind just how much of a connection the...
Kate Sector's picture

L|F San Antonio Office Goes Zero Carbon with Big Sun Solar

311 Third Street, our San Antonio office, was built in 1920 and was originally designed for Hupmobile , an automobile company. “In 1985, David and Ted bought partial ownership in the building, and started Lake|Flato Architects on the south side of the second floor. The firm expanded to the second floor north side in 1990, the third floor in 2003 (when Ted and David took full ownership), and the entire first floor in 2005. In 2008 we completed a full renovation of the main level." (to read the full story check out: Better Know an L|F Project: 311 Third Street | Lake Flato ) Today (2021), we...

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