th+a was responsible for the design of Buzz Lofts, a live/work residential building sited on an urban block near downtown Dallas. Recognized as Dallas' first Green Multifamily development by D Magazine and D HOME (awarded Best of 2006), the project incorporates 22 USGBC design points.

The three-story, 49,500 SF building was the first new multifamily construction development of density in the district in at least 70 years. The development is a product of a larger revitalization effort as spurred by a current TIF zone, affordable housing incentive programs, a new Planned Development district, and DART rail.

Sustainable, modern and artistic, the building features minimal interiors, natural ventilation, extended overhangs, water reclamation and sustainable materials. The structure's V-shaped roof cantilevers to maximize shade, while directing rainwater to irrigation cisterns. Residences open onto a shared, naturally ventilated breezeway and private balconies are accessed by operable overhead doors. Sustainable concepts include bamboo flooring, xeriscaped plantings, cementitious siding, reflective single-ply roofing and wind-powered energy. An electric scooter is provided to each unit for transportation to nearby activities.


  • The building frame is constructed of recycled wood ‘shorts’, consisting of finger-joint studs and engineered trusses, all locally supplied – this results in a stronger, straighter frame with less energy consumed from transport.
  • The 35,000 gallon water reclamation silos irrigate the total landscape area; there is no water bill for irrigation, and the storm water management bill for May 2008 was $3.06.
  • A butterfly roof design increases efficiencies for water reclamation silos.
  • An all-white solar reflective roof reduces heat gain and allows top floor units to use less air conditioning.
  • We over-insulated, in some cases, as much as 30% beyond code, with 100% low-e glazing. In the Texas summer homeowners report an electric bill between $60 and $100 per month.
  • Extended roof soffits and oversized balconies provide shade for adjacent units.
  • Open breezeways on each floor reduce energy consumption in hallways.
  • The building is 100% Wind-Powered energy by Green Mountain Energy
  • L.E.D. exterior up-lighting uses approximately 10% energy of traditional exterior lighting.
  • Upgraded integral-color stucco exterior minimizes ongoing maintenance.
  • Additional design features include a drought-tolerant (Xeriscape) landscape, Energy Star appliances and air conditioning systems, plantation harvested bamboo flooring, Enviroglas recycled glass countertops, white UV panel shading for window systems, and low-e double pane glass.
  • The roof system is also solar enabled with the wiring necessary for future PV installation, as this technology becomes more cost-productive.
  • The lofts feature a wide body design, where units are generally as wide to the street as they are deep, to maximize natural light into the interiors. A large overhead door allows for maximum natural light and breeze.
  • Buzz includes a zero-emmission eGO electric rechargeable Moped for each dweller, with complimentary charging bay.

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Dallas, TX



Dallas, TX