Austin Invests $2.7 Million Toward First Community Project That Lowers Carbon Footprint

The City of Austin is once again leading the efforts in lowering its carbon footprint with a recent renovation project taking place in Central Austin. A 46-year old community tennis facility is slated to undergo extensive work as a result of the tennis courts reaching their service life, and the need to modernize them for use.

Pharr Tennis Center will become the city’s first project to attain important green-building certifications —SITES and LEED, focusing on protecting ecosystems in builds and recognized as the most widespread green-building rating system in the world, respectively.

The $2.7 million renovation budget is funded via a 2018 bond which allocated $4 million toward the tennis center. Kirksey Architecture, an Austin-based firm, will lead the design which will include over 38 million square feet of LEED-certified projects.

The large-scale project will include the replacement of eight asphalt tennis courts, improved accessibility, and storm-water-management systems that will double as impressive water features, with a rain garden to address property drainage concerns.

In tandem with the City’s Art in Public Places program, permanent artwork created by various local artists will also be incorporated into the renovation. An additional consideration for green-building improvements for the Pharr Tennis Center includes onsite stormwater management, improving soil health, adding native and adapted landscaping elements, protecting existing trees, offering additional spaces to promote health and wellness in the community, energy-efficient sports lighting, fence and windscreens replacement, and the use of sustainable materials throughout construction.

As a minimum standard of sustainability for new construction projects adopted by the City of Austin, LEED-certified buildings focus on energy water, materials, and addressing the interior and exterior environments in relation to green building projects.

As construction gets underway in the summer or fall of 2021, the project is anticipated to be completed within an eight-month timeline. The center will be closed to the public and will reopen in the summer or fall of 2022.

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