In honor of ‘adopt a dog’ month, the BRW College Station office participated in the Second Annual Brazos Bark and Build. This sustainable dog house competition raises money for the Aggieland Humane Society and the Brazos AIA Emerging Professionals, while spreading awareness about sustainable design.  Together local professionals, students, and other various community groups formed teams and designed 10 one of a kind dog houses that were auctioned off and raised much needed funds for the humane society.  The event was held in October at the Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival located in Downtown Bryan, Texas and the Bark and Build booth was a popular stop for canines and people alike.   BRW College Station employees, Co-Chair Lisa Andel, Daniel Pesek, Peri Arthur, and Dianne Jones were on the planning committee for this event, and put many hours of their free time into making sure this fun and creative community event would be a success.

In addition to planning the event, the BRW College Station office whipped out their hammers and power tools to design and construct quite a unique dog house.  The design-build team consisted of Justin Dreyer, Hector Ochoa, Lisa Andel, Peri Arthur, Dianne Jones, and Nicole Story.  The concept we developed was to create a house capable of adapting to the relentless Texas heat while also keeping our canine friend warm throughout our mild, but sporadic, winter months.  How is that possible you ask?  We came up with a design that transforms from a cozy abode warmed by natural daylight during the winter months to a naturally ventilated house with an expanded back porch for summer.

Thanks to a fallen fence in one of the team member’s backyard, the main building material for the BRW dog house was cedar fence pickets with re-purposed frosted plexi-glass backing from our offices old project display board.  To ensure we met Mr. Watford’s standards for excellence in design, we made sure to waterproof the plywood roof decking with 30lb felt and topped it off with corrugated metal, thus ensuring a dog house with a roof that will not leak.   Since most dog houses will be placed on grass, we made sure to elevate the house on treated 2×4 skids and sealed all the wood on the house with Thompson’s Water Seal.  If you are thinking the “bookends” of the house resemble a familiar red square logo, you are correct; we designed our dog house to forever represent BRW Architects.

After months of planning, long nights of breathing in saw dust, and several battle wounds, we are very happy to announce that the BRW dog house was voted “Dog’s Choice” by the public’s popular vote at the Texas Reds Festival to win!  We were also selected as 2nd Runner up by the Judges panel and our dog house was Green Paw Certified, which is a point-based rating system (similar to LEED) created to evaluate each dog house’s level of sustainability.    Believe it or not, some dog houses were built out of cardboard tubes, reclaimed fence boards, and other found and re-purposed materials, while some even incorporated solar panels, all to earn PAW points and encourage sustainability.   All in all, the event was a huge success, and we are looking forward to Brazos Bark and Build 2013. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love the combination of dogs, red meat, and a little wine?


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