The Texas Society of Architects recognized the TreeHouse store in The Hill development at the northeast corner of Walnut Hill and Central Expressway in its recent design awards. The design was intended to be not only aesthetically appealing but also energy positive and environmentally friendly.
“We love the challenge as architects,” LRK architecture and design firm partner Craig Henry said. ““We’re proud to work with clients who share our values for placemaking and sustainable design.”
Initial planning for the building began in the fall of 2015. It was a joint effort between TreeHouse, LRK, San Antonio-based deign architect Lake Flato, and Cypress Equities, the developer behind The Hill Shopping Center.
The design including incorporating a large pre-existing oak tree into the building. Studies conducted by TreeHouse helped determine the most efficient way to locate windows and made use of natural lighting. More than 500 solar panels were installed on the roof. The energy absorbed by them is transferred to two large Tesla battery systems which can store enough electricity to power the store for several days, making it the first large retail store in Texas to produce more energy than it consumes.
The store opened for business in June 2017. A second North Texas location opened in Plano earlier this year. TreeHouse COO Graeme Waitzkin said that the success of both locations contributed to company’s decision to close its original location in Austin to focus all of its real efforts on the Dallas area.
“It’s nothing on the Austin Market,” Waitzkin said. “The DFW market is just a lot bigger. The age of many of the home fits our business model with is renovation and remodeling services.”
The new headquarters will centralize the company’s operations center, project management and warehousing operations near Love Field. While no new stores are officially planned at this time, Waitzkin said the company plans to spend the next 18 to 24 months focusing solely on North Texas, after which they may consider additional Texas and out-of-state markets.
“We have to walk before we can run,” Waitzkin said, “but we are certainly keeping our eyes open.”