Research Hub in The Woodlands 

HARC’s Net Zero Building  

Nickole Kerner Bobley

Nov 20, 2019

Nestled in the woods at the corner of Gosling and Research Forest is HARC (the Houston Advanced Research Center). It is a nonprofit research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues with research activities that support implementation of policies and technologies that promote sustainability.

HARC is housed in a building that is a leading example of what net zero energy building can be – an energy efficient construction that produces as much renewable energy as it consumes leaving a net zero energy bill and the smallest carbon footprint possible!

Photos credit of Gensler.

HARC researchers conduct timely, focused research on a set of questions central to understanding the interactions between the environment and society. Their mission is to provide independent analysis for people seeking scientific answers and to operate as a research hub finding solutions for a sustainable future that helps people thrive and nature flourish.

HARC owes its origins to the vision and initiative of Houston businessman, real estate developer and philanthropist George P. Mitchell, (b. 1919 – d. 2013). In 1982, Mitchell established HARC as a nonprofit university consortium that could act as a technology incubator to bridge basic research and market applications. Today, HARC’s expertise is focused on the science and engineering needed to understand and address issues related to air quality, clean energy, and water quality and supply.

HARC works with local, state and federal agency partners to achieve public policy objectives and with a team of dedicated researchers, HARC provides independent analysis on how to build a sustainable future. Within its headquarters in The Woodlands, the organization employs a collaborative work culture with a smart and principled staff. 

From its team of dedicated researchers to its incredible body of work to its own LEED Platinum facility, HARC walks-the-talk. The organization’s new headquarters has indeed fulfilled its vision of embodying a prototype for sustainability making it a global resource with diplomatic visits from foreign leaders, businesses and communities from all over the world to observe its programming and to tour the facility as a source of inspiration. Groups often visit the HARC building to learn how the construction of a new facility can flourish through innovative engineering and sustainable building practices. 

Looking ahead to 2020, HARC has many additional building enhancements planned, including the addition of an onsite energy storage to allow the organization to utilize excess solar power generated during the day and night and on cloudy days as needed. 

The Woodlander salutes HARC for being an exemplar for environment stewardship, building efficiency and affordable net-zero ideas for the Gulf Coast region.

To learn more, CLICK HERE.