Green Development Does Dallas

May 19, 2010 by

Scheduled to break ground in early 2011, Forwarding Dallas, the product of a collaboration between Portuguese-based architectural firms Atelier Data and Moov, will run “off the grid,” acting as a working model of sustainability for cities around the globe. The design was the winner of a 2009 international design competition sponsored by Urban Re:Vision and the Central Dallas Community Development Corporation, challenging designers to transform a vacant inner-city block behind City Hall into a carbon-neutral community.

Forwarding Dallas is modeled after the hillside, one of the most diverse systems in nature.  The site is a series of hilltops and valleys that contain trees and luxurious plants which transition into more resistant plants as the altitude increases.  On its hilltops, the development harvests solar thermal, photovoltaic, and wind energy.

Design components include:

  • Heavy utilization of native vegetation
  • Open ‘green’ spaces including wooded paths and interior courtyards as well as green roof prairies and orchards
  • 100% prefabricated construction system, integrating building materials from local sources
  • Housing options from studio apartments to three bedroom flats fit to accommodate approximately 854 residents
  • Combination of photovoltaic (solar) and wind power which will providing 100% of the energy needed for each resident
  • A Southwest façade set up for solar gain in a venetian-blind-like system which adjusts according to the season
  • A Northeast façade made from prefabricated, thick, high thermal mass straw bales provides added insulation
  • Rooftop water catchment system designed to recycle water collected from rooftops and store underground for later use
  • Public green houses, including a sensorial greenhouse, swimming pool green house and meeting point green house
  • Water permeable paved areas to prevent pooling and flooding

To accommodate various lifestyles, the design provides for a spiritual space, gymnasium, café and exhibition space, as well as a temporary accommodation area and daycare center for both children and the elderly.

Firm: Atelier Data & MOOV, Lisbon, Portugal
Authors: António Louro (MOOV), Filipe Vogt (Atelier Data), Marta Frazão (Atelier Data)
Collaborators: André Almeida (Atelier Data), Carolina Pombo (Atelier Data), Inês Vicente (Atelier Data), José Niza (MOOV), João Calhau (MOOV)
Landscape architecture: Susana Rodrigues
Energy efficiency and resources: Maria João Rodrigues, João Parente
Concept communication: João Rato


  1. Lisa said:

    Dallas is the least green place it ever lived. Such a culture of consumerism – defing your self worth by conspicuous consumption. Gigantic cars. No bikes. No *sidewalks* for goodness sakes! Restaurants with *outdoor* air conditioned patios. My frugal Yankee sensibility just stared in awe at the waste.

    — May 19, 2010 @ 21:01

  2. Permaculture: A Land-Based System of Human Rewilding | Pingback said:

    […] Take a look at the project Forwarding Dallas as an example of greening the city through sustainable building design and the proliferation of green roofs and rain gardens. A collaboration between Portuguese-based architectural firms Atelier Data and Moov, it provides a model of sustainability for cities to follow. See “Green Development Does Dallas,” from […]

    — May 21, 2011 @ 18:48

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