Austin’s First ‘Net-Zero Energy’ Self-Storage Facility Is Open

Farragut Investments Inc. developed Austin’s first net-zero energy self-storage facility.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

CubeSmart Self Storage
CubeSmart Self Storage

Austin, TexasCubeSmart, a national owner and operator of self-storage facilities, opened Austin’s first “net zero energy” commercial building on March 22 at 6130 E Ben White Blvd., at the corner of East Ben White Boulevard and Montopolis Boulevard.

The property was developed by Farragut Investments Inc. who worked closely with Austin Energy Green Building to implement innovative energy, water and material conservation strategies for the 77,000-square-foot, climate-controlled self-storage facility. The building is operated on Farragut’s behalf through CubeSmart’s third-party self-storage management program, bringing the company’s portfolio of owned or operated facilities to 20 in the Austin area.

“This building is a valuable addition to our third party management program and our Austin self-storage portfolio,” said Guy Middlebrooks, vice president of third party management for CubeSmart. “This new state-of-the-art facility allows us to serve environmentally-conscious Austin customers with a convenient location that is easily accessible to most downtown and South and East Austin residents.”

The asset is located in close proximity to South Lamar, South Congress and downtown Austin neighborhoods. It is fully fenced and gated, and features a 24-hour digital security monitoring system, high-definition security cameras and secure keypad entry.

The facility’s features combine to create net zero energy status, meaning it generates more solar energy than it consumes. The features include one of the largest solar photovoltaic arrays on any storage facility in the state, geothermal heating and cooling, geothermal wells, three rainwater tower and a regenerative drive elevator which generates power from elevator movement.

Currently the building is energy positive, producing more energy than it needs. A second storage building is expected to be complete in 2017, making the complex net zero energy in balance with production and demand. Currently, Farragut is working to achieve a four-star rating from Austin Energy Green Building. Moreover, the building is subscribed to Austin Energy’s GreenChoice Program. Should the site need to purchase additional power, Austin Energy will provide 100 percent Texas wind-generated energy rather than fossil fuel-generated power.

“We’ve worked diligently to ensure our facility is a positive addition to Austin by providing efficient features that serve the local community in many ways,” said Robert Ruggles, vice president of development for Farragut Investments. “Every inch of this project, from energy management to the preservation of green space for conservation, natural resources, native trees, and landscaping, has been designed to give back to Austin and the environment.”

Image courtesy of SmartCube Facebook Page