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2017 Award Winners



The Game Changer


Discovery at The Realm (Castle Hills)


Lewisville, Texas

Architect/Designer | 505Design (Design) & BB+M (Production)

Builder | Andres Construction Services

Developer | Bright Realty

Land Planner | LandDesign

Landscape Architect/Designer | LandDesign

Interior Designer | 505Design

Interior Merchandiser | Keaton Interiors

Photographer | Denise Retallack Photographer

This project—a 423-unit, luxury apartment development within a master-planned community—is game-changing in its use of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology for unparalleled resident comfort. This solves typical HVAC-related challenges facing multifamily buildings by eliminating unsightly and noisy outdoor condenser “farms”. The extra space gained is utilized for resident amenities and open space. Engineering teams developed this greenfield solution to utilize traditional HVAC ductwork, so VRF technology operates behind the scenes without compromising tenant living space. In spite of increased installation costs, the developer is creating demand for a desirable amenity that outperforms traditional HVAC systems, and the increased equipment life reduces the cost of ownership overall. VRF training was implemented and required for all installers on the project to ensure quality installation with optimum system performance. The project has seen 40 percent or more increased efficiency over traditional split systems, with cost savings passed on to residents. VRF equipment is engineered to monitor and meter the actual energy usage by individual units, with unique placement of the condensing units out of sight in underground parking garages. The developer was the first in the market area to bring VRF technology to a multifamily project and since then, other developments have followed suit. The unique implementation of this VRF system is a game changer for the industry because it solves typical HVAC-related challenges facing multifamily, creating a better quality of life for residents.

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