TBG Partners Knows Texas Landscaping Heals

Staff | September 28, 2010

The landscape architecture and planning firm, TBG Partners, has provided site planning, sustainable design and landscape architectural services for the new 32-acre Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, located at the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport Redevelopment site. The hospital opened in June 2007 as the newest member of the Seton Family of Hospitals. Austin-based White Construction served as the general contractor for the hospital.

Dell Children's is scheduled to become the world's first Platinum hospital, the highest certification a project can receive under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is also a pilot for the Green Guide for Health Care, a model for new LEED Health Care documents.

The approximately 480,000-square-foot, four-story pediatric facility looks out upon a three-acre landscaped and "xeriscaped" Healing Garden. TBG Partners' landscape design for the hospital creates a playful healing environment for children. Utilizing recycled materials including composite wood, recycled glass and concrete with high ash content, the project elements include a three-acre, healing garden articulated by passive and active spaces that feature a multimedia movie plaza, labyrinth, human sundial, butterfly garden, a floating stone fountain, and reflecting pond. Within the central courtyard, a three-story waterway cascades down a wall of granite into a serpentine stream that flows over a rock waterfall into a reflecting pool. Reclaimed water is used for irrigation. Use of mostly native plants requires less water usage.

"We designed various courtyard environments to reflect the biodiversity of Central Texas by incorporating six eco-regions, each corresponding to a distinct area of the hospital's 46-county service region," said Brian Ott, LEED Accredited Professional and principal at TBG Partners. "This helps to connect patients and family members with the familiar environments they grew up around."

As Texas' largest landscape architecture and planning firm, TBG designs mixed-use and residential communities, corporate campuses, civic buildings, hotels, resorts, health care and educational facilities, city parks, and historic sites. TBG's 20 staff LEED Accredited Professionals work to incorporate sustainable design principles into each project. Established in 1987, TBG is now staffed by over 130 professionals in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.