Presidio, Texas is a town steeped in history. Established in the 17th century but settled as early as 1500 B.C. Presidio is now home to just under 4,000 people.
This colorful and historic section of Texas lies right on the Rio Grande River, just across the border from Ojinaga, Mexico, and boasts some of the darkest skies in Texas making it a dream for stargazers. While along the river, it is considered desert land as part of the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas.
Because of its proximity to the Mexican border, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a large employer in the area. However, due to the smallness of the town of Presidio, housing those border protection officers and their families is a challenge.
Green Insight was brought in to consult on ways to keep design and construction both green and functional on a solution to the housing shortage: a housing project funded by the federal government consisting of 26 single-family attached homes and one single-family detached home for U.S. Border Patrol employees.
Working with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol design team and W.H. Pacific contractors, we were able to come up with unique solutions to their housing issues while keeping the project green and sustainable.
The biggest challenge facing the project was a logistical one. While it can boast the darkest skies and best star watching in West Texas, its remote location doesn’t help when it comes to coordinating all the moving parts of a building project.
Located 8 hours by car from our offices, coordinating the construction team with our consulting duties required substantial planning to keep the project on schedule and within budget.
Additionally, the arid desert climate posed its fair share of challenges. Part of our work together was ensuring interior comfort and adequate yet responsible water usage.
To properly coordinate schedules with all parties, strong communication was an absolute must. That meant clear communication prior to our site visits to give crews ample time to make sure everything was ready for all inspections along the way and that all-important final inspection. We also needed to coordinate efforts to ensure all units were complete and ready for final testing.
Our meticulous attention to coordinating all parties paid off. Green Insight was able to successfully certify all 27 homes with a higher status than their original goal of Silver certification.
To combat the environmental challenges, the project utilized a stout building envelope with roof assembly insulation over R40 and walls of R22. These factors help ensure both occupant comfort in the units as well as energy efficiency.
Contractors were also able to strategically plan their planting choices to create landscaping that was both suited for the dry desert heat and didn’t require a lot of water usage.
Through Green Insight’s collaboration with both U.S. Border and Customs Patrol and W.H. Pacific contractors, the Presidio Border Patrol housing development earned:
- LEED for Homes Gold Certification
- A HERS rating of 72 or better on all units
- 66% reduction in outdoor water usage
After completion, the Presidio housing development became a model in sustainability as a piece of the 27 acre site that features both housing and landscaped common spaces.
Looking for a stress-free path to your green building project? The Green Insight team will help you find the best solution.
Get in touch with us today. We’ll discuss your project and goals while showing you how we can help you achieve green building success!