John H. Winters Building

Austin, Texas

The John H. Winters building is owned by the Texas Facilities Commission and houses several state agencies.  The restroom facilities were outdated and in violation of accessibility codes.  Accessibility problems were critical for the high traffic first floor because, in addition to being the entry level, it is occupied by the Texas Department for Aging and Disability Services. 

Encotech was retained by Casabella Architects to provide Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering Services for the repair and replacement of the 14 restrooms in the east tower of the building.  The firm developed the preliminary engineering report after an extensive review of existing facilities and interaction with maintenance staff.  The report identified building code violations, equipment in need of repair, poor plumbing access points, ventilation code violations, and inefficient lighting.

The project was divided into three phases to address the client’s budgetary needs.  Phase I is complete and Encotech is designing Phase II.  Some of the firms design solutions included balancing the exhaust air system to meet ventilation code requirements, and positively pressuring the building.  Using photometrics, Encotech incorporated energy efficient and brighter LED lighting to replace the dim fluorescent fixtures.  Also, to overcome the original design’s inaccessible plumping access points, resulting in destructive wall penetration, Encotech established discreet maintenance wall penetration solutions.