Principal from top design firm appears at Rowlett Lecture Series

Rowlett Lecture
Steve McDowell
principal, BNIM
1: 30 p.m. April 19
Rudder Theatre

Steve McDowell, director of design and principal at BNIM, a design and planning firm recognized by the American Institute of Architects as its 2011 firm of the year, spoke at Texas A&M’s Rowlett Lecture Series April 19, 2013 at Rudder Theatre on the Texas A&M campus.

The annual event, which brings top designers from the most prestigious firms in the U.S., is hosted annually by the CRS Center for Leadership and Management in the Design and Construction Industry at the Texas A&M College of Architecture.

McDowell, who has championed sustainable, high-performance design for decades, led BNIM’s design of the award-winning Omega Center for Sustainable Living, the first building in the world to achieve both LEED Platinum and Living Building certification.

His leadership by design has set new standards for sustainable projects including the School of Nursing and Student Community Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, the General Services Administration building at the University of California-Los Angeles, the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia, the Oberlin Green Arts District and the Chatham University Eden Hall Campus.

He also created the Packard Sustainability Matrix, the first tool to provide information about the cost of building sustainably, an invaluable industry tool for peers and clients that measures the impact of building choices on the environment.



Established in 1970, the Kansas City firm has emerged nationally as a leading resource for established methodologies, innovative technologies and cutting-edge research in architecture, planning, landscape and workplace design.

As pioneers in the arena of sustainable design, BNIM continues to shape the national and global agenda for progressive planning, responsible architecture and design excellence.

The firm’s work includes early pilot projects that defined the USGBC’s LEED rating system, a broad portfolio of LEED projects and current work that goes beyond LEED’s highest standards to achieve Living Building status.

The John Miles Rowlett Lecture was endowed in 1979 by the Texas Architectural Foundation with a grant from the founders of CRS and Mrs. Virginia Rowlett with a goal of bringing speakers of national and international significance to the College of Architecture at Texas A&M. The original firm of CRS was established in 1946 by William W. Caudill and John M. Rowlett, professors of architecture at Texas A&M.

The Rowlett Lecture Series was then created in 1980 to bring speakers to architecture schools at Texas A&M and the University of Texas.

After reviewing proposals by each school for the inaugural lecture, Texas A&M was chosen and subsequently given control over the series by TAF because of its enthusiasm and the quality of the program prepared for the initial lecture series.

posted March 1, 2013