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Block 21, home to ACL Live and the W Austin Hotel, receives world-wide recognition for environmental stewardship

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Austin Photo Set: News_Caitlin_W Hotel_Dec 2011_exterior
The W Hotel Austin Courtesy of W Hotel

ACL Live has fast earned a reputation as the crème de la crème of Austin's live music venues, most recently named Best Venue Major Concert Venue by industry authority Pollstar. And the adjoining W Austin Hotel and Residences keep up with the international lifestyle brand's world renowned reputation for being on the cusp of burgeoning trends and talent with top tier service and progressive programs for guests and Austinites to partake in, like music series Symmetry Live and Living Room Live.

But the backbone to all of this success is the building in which these programs take place, the entire entity of which is called Block 21. The building is the first-mixed occupancy project of its time in the world to achieve LEED certification. What this means is Block 21 (which includes ACL Live, the W Austin Hotel and Residences and a handful of restaurants and stores including Coal Vines Restaurant, Urban Outfitters and more) was concepted and built using the most sustainable methods possible.

 Block 21 effortlessly strikes the difficult balance of cosmopolitan elegance and environmental stewardship, staying true to that understated, cool vibe that Austin is famous for.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized mark of excellence: "LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions."

Completed by Stratus Properties Inc. and the Canyon Urban Fund II in 2010, the sustainable design features of 1.08 million square foot Block 21 include low-impact site development, water and energy efficiency, recycled-content, regionally sourced and manufactured, low-emitting construction materials, diversion of construction debris from landfills, abundant daylight and views and healthful indoor air quality. Block 21 effortlessly strikes the difficult balance of cosmopolitan elegance and environmental stewardship, staying true to that understated, cool vibe that Austin is famous for.

Beau Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of Stratus Properties, Inc. tells CultureMap, “It is so satisfying to see our vision of Block 21 realized. Our goal was to not only build something that would contribute to the revitalization of downtown but to also support Austin’s long term goal of being one of the most sustainable cities in the country.”

“Austin has long been known for its live music, hospitality, and also for its sustainability leadership,” says Lucia Athens, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Austin. “Block 21 brings it all together in a new and exciting way. This green building achievement is a great way to reach music fans and visitors to Austin, and help them understand how we do things a little differently here. Block 21 is a major contributor to downtown Austin’s cultural and economic vitality, and keeps us on the map for green innovation. Texas style green building means you can have fun, turn a profit and protect the environment at the same time.”
 
Tuesday March 6, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell along with Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and Founding Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council will attend a LEED certification dedication of Block 21 on the terrace of the W Hotel Austin. Later that evening, ACL Live will host Radiohead for a taping of the iconic ACL Live television series.
 
Block 21 is sure to be at the center of the frenzied energy of SXSW as it kicks off at the end of this week, as well as later this month, when the ever-popular wine, food and music happy hour, The Wine Down, returns in 2012 with band Wild Child and bites from Cantina Laredo.

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