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In 1978, while working on his Master of Architecture degree, Rick was co-author on a research paper which would shape his architectural career. Entitled ENERGY RESPONSIVE DESIGN – A Passive Approach to Architecture, the paper was part research paper and part manifesto.  We realized that Man had a responsibility to be good stewards of the earth and that change in our behavior was essential.

We wrote in 1978:

“Because space heating and cooling constitutes a significant percentage of energy consumption in buildings, we concentrated on identifying thermal maintenance systems which utilize natural principles of heat transfer for their operation”

Over thirty years later, Rick Wright is a LEED - Accredited Professional (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) North Texas Chapter. For more information about USGBC, go to www.usgbc.org.

But at RWA, designing buildings which are “green” is more than just acquiring enough points to achieve LEED Certification, important as that is.  We believe that a building which is designed in concert with the indigenous materials, climate, and culture of a region makes for better architecture.  We also discovered that a building designed in response to natural phenomena – whether it is sunlight, moonlight, thunderstorms, prevailing winds, and other natural wonders, becomes a place to which people feel connected, and can delight in the majesty of nature.

Projects of RWA with sustainable attributes:

Solar Study House

• shadow play and passive sustainable design study •
• thermal mass (Trombe) wall faces south, absorbs solar radiation •
• north façade/landscaping contoured to deflect cold north winds •

Rain Pavilion

• cascading planes shed rain water over rings of light •
• catch basin at top directs water to center oculus •
• falling water forms cylindrical column •

Residence - Denison, Texas

• client request initiated research of historic Spanish materials/massing •
• terracotta tiles form return air grilles, exterior “celosias”, or lattices •
• sustainable geo-thermal heat-pump, spray foam insulation •

ADS Sports Eyewear and Residences (Unbuilt) – Dallas, Texas

• urban infill adaptive re-use of 1913 masonry building •
• light wells, grass roof, water run-off collection for sustainability •
• retail, parking garage, 4 living units with mezzanines, view to skyline •

Residence - Sherman, Texas

• passive sustainable features include natural light through dormers •
• overhangs are calculated to shade windows • wheelchair-accessible •
• design reminiscent of its historic neighborhood • detached garage •