Case Studies

Randall-Porterfield Architects Inc.

Houston's experienced design firm

Josh Tillinghast and Bob Randall founded Clearlake Shores-based, full-service architectural firm Tillinghast-Randall Architects Inc. in 1984. “The work performed was predominantly recreational facilities like parks and marinas,” says Randall. “We still do that today, but we’ve branched into more commercial work that includes schools, fire stations, savings and loans, municipalities and civic centers.”

The company changed direction in 1989, bringing in new partner Michael Porterfield; the firm then changed its name to Randall-Porterfield Architects Inc (RPA). In 2000, the company designed and built its own office in League City, Texas. Today RPA works to provide comprehensive services that promote appropriate design solutions with respect to project budget and schedule.

Randall-Porterfield Architects, Inc.Principal involvement

Randall explains that it’s the principal involvement of the company that separates it from its competitors. “The principals are heavily engaged in day to day design decisions in the field, as well as in the office,” he continues.

RPA finds significance in the unity between the older and newer generations maintaining the industry and performance standards. “As we get older, we find we need to spend more time directing the younger people; we discover that they have the tools and resources, but they don’t have the experience,” Randall explains.

To capitalize on the technology and stay up to date a company needs to have the younger people that have been exposed to the new gadgets. In return, RPA brings years of experience to the table and mentors the younger generation. “They bring the toys and the gadgets and we bring the experience and the know-how,” he details. “It makes for a good blend.”

Client list and LEED certification

RPA has many exciting projects under its belt, the Sea Scout Base project in Galveston, Texas, has been garnering a lot of attention for the company. “The Scout project is a substantial project, including a six-story dorm with a marina and site amenities for teaching facility for sailing and scouting,” Randall explains.

The company also has numerous other projects that are currently under development. “We currently have several medical facilities that we’re working on now, as well as four schools and about four fire stations,” he elaborates. All of these projects Texas, and required full architectural services, including civil engineering, MEP and structural engineering.

RPA also performs LEED-certified work on its projects. “Most of our employees are LEED Accredited Professionals, which I have been for nine years now,” he adds.

RPA is aiming for LEED platinum certification on the Sea Scout Base project that the company is currently working on. “We have several other projects that are going through the LEED certification process, as well,” Randall says proudly. The importance of the certification is maintained throughout the company and RPA has also encouraged and helped most of its staff to become a LEED Accredited Professional.

To further support green standards, the company is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. “It keeps us up to date on energy consumption and how to become better stewards of the environment,” Randall states.

For its park work, RPA does a lot of wetland creation so the company remains sensitive to the context of the building. “Architecture is the art and craft of building and planning is the wisdom of good architecture,” he says.

Environmentally conscious

Randall explains that great architecture is about maintaining the integrity of the surrounding environment, while crafting the appropriate healthy building solution for a more resilient structure. RPA supports environmentally conscious work and makes an effort to remain as minimally intrusive on the environment as possible for its recreational projects.

“We try to respect the environmental constraints through resiliency, such as wetlands, flood plain issues, archeological relics, as well as surges and storms through community networking,” says Randall.

According to Randall, there are a lot of things about RPA that he’s proud of. “I enjoy working the shoreline, working with water and working around water,” he continues. “Most of my projects are in that venue – they’re water oriented, meaning parks, marinas, wetland creations and facilities that look at the water like interpretive centers, that’s what I enjoy doing.” Randall details that these types of projects are the most rewarding for him.

RPA is looking at growth potential in the upcoming years. As Texas continues to grow and expand, the company has to work with its existing infrastructure. Randall also believes that the green building industry has to continue to grow. Becoming a member of the U.S. Green Building Council is a great way for RPA to get connected with other businesses that are similar minded and also aware of the individual company’s environmental impact.

Randall-Porterfield Architects Inc. has been in the industry for 30 years and has created a solid company foundation that will aid it in the upcoming years into becoming a dominant force in the architectural industry.

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