Field Trip: Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems

Thursday April 28, 2016 , 1 to 3 p.m.
The Center For Maximum Potential Building Systems

The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, established in 1975, is a non-profit education and research center that specializes in life cycle planning and design. Headed by Pliny Fisk III and Gail Vittori, The Center pursues projects that emphasize regional contexts as bases for responsible resource use relative to materials, energy, water, waste, food, and meaningful employment. 

Originally conceived by Pliny Fisk III and Daria Bolton Fisk through the UTSOA as the Laboratory for Maximum Potential Building Systems, one of the first design-build studios in the country, The Center has championed decades of groundbreaking projects, manifested through the organizations’ cultivation of protocols, policies, and prototypes.  The Center was instrumental in developing the original conceptual framework and early implementation of the Austin Greenbuilder Program, the first evaluation method of its kind and a precursor to USGBC’s LEED rating systems. 

Pliny Fisk walked us through the Center, explaining the innovative systems and designs in place like their waste water purification system, rain harvesting system, and their building structure which is designed for disassembly and flexibility.  He showed us samples of alternative building materials like rebar made from basalt rock fibers, the material found in bullet proof vests.  We also had the opportunity to speak with Design students at a University in Philadelphia, through go-to-meeting, who are doing research on creating an Eco-District in Philadelphia.  Pliny gave both of our classes a short presentation on the Center's work and the application of their prototypes, protocols, and policies on projects like Formula 1 and the AMM Solar Decathlon House.  

Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems
8604 FM 969, Austin, 78724

This field trip was a coordinated effort with Interior Design Construction 2, taught by Tamie Glass.  Images courtesy of Heather Sutherland