Green Urbanism at Mueller

The redevelopment of the 711-acre former Austin Mueller Municipal Airport began in earnest in the early 2000s, conceived as a master development with 10,000 residents and 10,000 jobs.  Sustainability was identified early on as one of Mueller’s six central tenets, along with fiscal responsibility, economic development, East Austin revitalization, compatibility with surrounding neighborhoods, and diversity.  CMPBS began our collaboration on the project in 2004 at the request of Mueller’s Master Developer Catellus Development Group.  In the six years since, we have collaborated with Catellus and Master Planner ROMA Design Group (now McCann Adams Studio) and a host of other project consultants on integrating the shared interests of sustainability and New Urbanism into a coordinated effort, Green Urbanism, merging environmental protection, economic prosperity, community cohesion, bicycle, pedestrian and urban transit connectivity, abundant open space and aesthetic beauty around a common, cohesive theme.

In 2006, the Center developed the Mueller Green Resources Guide, a nuts and bolts primer on the how’s and why’s of green urbanism, including extensive lists of resources and references.  The book was structured to orient and align Mueller’s construction contractors, building owners and residents around Mueller’s impressive goals and signature themes.  All buildings at Mueller are required to follow either the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED™ for New Construction green building standard or Austin Energy’s Green Building Program rating system through to certification; the four signature themes: protecting air quality; urban heat island effect, protecting the night sky, and creating green buildings provide a cohesive framework to inform all horizontal and vertical development.  In addition, CMPBS co-developed and oversaw compliance with construction best practice requirements associated with waste management, noise, and air quality targeting the non-building construction activities, not in widespread practice even today.

Mueller was selected as one of about 240 LEED™ for Neighborhood Development Pilot Projects in 2007, and received designation as a Stage 2 LEED Silver Plan in 2009—at the time, the largest LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot project at any stage.  Mueller is now pursuing the final Stage 3 LEED for Neighborhood Development certification to reflect the full build-out of this green urbanism hub in central Austin.

Catellus Development Group

Catellus Development Group

Gail Vittori, Adele Houghton, Andy Karvonen, Dan Overbey, Alex Stadtner, Cassidy Ellis, Sarah Hill, Mary Petrovich