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Austin’s Greenest High-rise designed with ArchiCAD

Rhode Partners Design Austin Texas’ “Greenest High-rise” with ArchiCAD


An eco-friendly residential tower in Austin, Texas, that aims to be the centerpiece of both urban sustainability and the city’s downtown revitalization efforts, was designed by Rhode Partners using Graphisoft’s BIM program ArchiCAD. The 34-story luxury high-rise residential tower is being built near the Texas capital’s cultural and political epicenter. Nearly 400 feet high, the 158-unit building will be seeking LEED Silver certification and four stars under the Austin Energy Green Building Program.

“We designed 7 Rio to be both disciplined and beautiful, making a stunning addition to the Austin skyline,” said Brett Rhode AIA, principle with Rhode Partners. “We believe our approach to sustainable design elevates the building beyond luxury, resonating with Austin’s environmentally conscious population.”

Using a Building Information Model (BIM), Rhode Partners organized 7 Rio into four distinct tiers of varying unit sizes. The building’s exterior reflects these tiers, visually representing the wide variety of interior spaces within. The building’s exterior is clad with a rain-screen system of expanded aluminum accented by glass fins which vary subtly in color. Deep balconies with glass guardrails offer expansive views of the “Live Music Capitol of the World” and the surrounding Texas Hill Country. The building’s rooftop consists of amenity spaces, a dramatic pool and roof gardens.

Rhode Partners is one of the first Austin-based architecture firms to fully utilize a Building Information Modeling (BIM) program in all aspects of building design, reports the firm’s Joanna Hartman, AIA, Design Manager for the project. “Our use of ArchiCAD made every phase of the 7 Rio project – from cost estimating to marketing – run smoothly and on schedule, while providing a wealth of real-time data for the owners and building partners.”

To see the design work of this fully BIM and ArchiCAD-based firm visit their site here. To learn more about ArchiCAD visit:

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