Gene Zellmer has designed almost every building type (up to 12 stories) found in a typical U. S. city. Below is only a very small example to give a flavor of his design work.

He was one of the earliest pioneers in green buildings and environmental designs, often years before a particular technique was popular. His energy-savings below-grade work began in the mid-60's. Energy efficient and cost-saving berm and sloping wall construction was incorporated in projects over many years.

For thousands of years every permanent building has used only 4 basic structural systems. In the late-70’s, for the first time in history, a 5th system became possible, permanent buildings could be built using structural fabric systems.

Gene Zellmer designed the world’s first applications of structural fabric on a department store, church, office and residence. The department store was in TIME as one of the Five Best Architectural Designs, 1981. He did pioneering research in fabric structural systems at MIT and Natick Labs in 1964 and 1965. He had to wait over 12 years until a permanent structural fabric was available for an entire building envelope.

Much of his work is in the intense heat and sun of Central California. Large overhangs on his designs give the necessary shade, keeping buildings cooler and adding life to the wall materials. Beautiful shaded courts and passages make entrances to offices comfortable on hot days. He has designed garden offices of this type in many areas of the United States. Reflective glass is also effectively used in several of his designs.

Solariums or transitional spaces were developed and tested on his designs for homes, apartments and offices. They are effective energy saving “green-concept spaces” for both winter and summer. They take advantage of winter sun angles for warmth, with most rooms opening into it. Home heating costs have been reduced as low as only operating the water-heater. In the summer months this same space uses low-cost evaporative cooling. The interior walls facing this space have 15 to 20 degree lower exposure rather than the very hot outside temperatures.

His latest research effort of many years has been reinventing our concept of housing and towns. Fundamental to this is making housing affordable today, plus over a 70% cost reduction for the next several hundred years. This continual-use concept makes our future sustainable far beyond what any recycling or reuse can achieve. Click on images to make larger.

The HURRICANE-PROOF potential of this concept makes it suitable for replacement of housing and towns along the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans. The lower levels are for parking or other easily moved uses. All the shops and housing are above flood levels.

Please visit for more information on this town concept. It is the only current concept that comprehensively addresses all the environmental and people issues. To make comments or contact Gene Zellmer, please send email to .