High Energy, Low Impact

High Energy, Low Impact

Patrick Wong

While dozens of multi-unit apartment buildings have gone up in central Austin in recent years, the new RiverView complex is looking to differentiate itself from the pack with sustainable features and access to an active, outdoor lifestyle. Designed by BOKA Powell, the 302-unit building overlooks Lady Bird Lake and connects to Austin’s new boardwalk and bike trail system.

Given the ecologically-sensitive lakeside site, the architects sited all the building’s parking below ground and topped the structure with a green roof and an integrated rainwater cistern irrigation system. Other sustainable features include recycled and low-VOC materials and low-flow fixtures. The architects hope to receive LEED Silver certification for the project.


The complex’s density is perhaps more important than its sustainable features. “This development could have taken almost 80 acres in a typical single family ‘tract style’ model, but accomplishes the same density on a four-acre site,” said Eric Van Hyfte, a project manager at BOKA Powell, in a statement.

The project also includes a resort style pool and a gym, but for those more inclined toward nature, the 10-mile hike, bike, and walk trail should be a major draw. The four-building complex, which ranges from five to 11 stories, has commanding water views. The contemporary architecture stands in contrast to the bucolic, wooded site, offering the pleasures of both city and country life.