Real estate developer Marcus Hiles has been building attractive communities across Texas for the last three decades. His success can be attributed to a unique vision of luxury living that has driven his projects — but also by staying well informed of design trends and knowing the most sought-after styles that people demand. Sweeping changes have affected what is expected of room partitions, exteriors and even the possible functions of homes themselves: groundbreaking architectural advances have led to net-zero energy buildings that strike a balance between their total energy consumption with the amount of renewable energy they create, while passive and active houses offer two energy conservation processes for virtually eliminating all heating and cooling bills. Beyond this exciting progress in construction methods, fundamental transformations are bringing more convenience, space and light into today’s spaces and reshaping the way we live.
Flexibility has become an important concept, and Marcus Hiles says that homes are being built with open floor plans and adaptable rooms that can easily be adjusted to accommodate new arrivals for growing families. The idea of implied spaces — areas identified by different materials or colors found in ceilings or floors — is a contemporary way to make interiors appear larger while avoiding traditional obstructions like multiple walls. Breaking through barriers is what cutting-edge design is all about: larger windows allow for extra natural light and can replace walls outright, while helping to blend the indoors with the outside world. In order to make homes more desirable places to be, hot tubs, fitness areas and spas have been appearing in private residences, making relaxation and fitness easier than ever. And as the popularity of cooking gourmet-worthy meals has grown, so have kitchens: with restaurant-grade appliances and furniture like islands, kitchens are typically allotted additional overall square footage and have become the center of the house, overtaking dining and living rooms as the place families come together.
Architectural trends have extended to hot outdoor designs that boast low maintenance and high style. Marcus Hiles has seen the demand rise for open-air spaces that are sustainable and reduce costs. Eco-friendly, conservation-minded choices such as rainwater/graywater harvesting and permeable pavement are leading the way. Utilizing a rooftop collection system, rainwater harvesting redirects moisture from the air for storage in a well to be treated and repurposed on-site; graywater takes previously used domestic wastewater and recirculates it for rest rooms and non-drinking purposes, lessening the need for fresh water and lowering the amount of sterilization. Another seemingly novel idea for environmentally minded construction, permeable paving, actually dates back thousands of years to the time when people first made roads by putting stones in beds over the ground. The practice allows the rain to pass through small openings between four layers of filtration (paving material, gravel, fabric, sand) before becoming absorbed by the earth below. Its benefits include lowering runoff and pollution, controlling the flow of storm water to gutters and drains, replenishing local groundwater supplies and providing a skid resistant surface for walkways, patios and driveways; their many attractive patterns often incorporate crushed stone, brick, and recycled concrete.
Marcus Hiles, Dallas based Chairman and CEO of Western Rim Properties, has established upmarket rental communities across Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, New Braunfels, and San Antonio. The renowned property authority and philanthropist has changed the landscape of the Lone Star state through the development of his energy-efficient luxury rentals and an unwavering commitment to the environment. Hiles has donated significant capital and land to the improvement and growth of state public parks, lakes and streams to promote conservation and help protect the scenic beauty of Texas.