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Steven Von Mueller, Principal

 










Professional Credentials

Steve completed his Architectural training at Texas Tech University while serving in the military. After college, Steve completed his Architectural Internship requirements under the guidance of Charles Pope/ Principal architect of Pope & Associates, San Antonio Texas and Don Davis/ Principal architect of Design Resources, Lubbock Texas. Steve’s professional architectural credentials and records are maintained and can be obtained by contacting the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and/or the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) in Austin, Texas.


Early Life

Steve was born and raised in Jourdanton, Texas, a small farming & ranching community 30 miles south of San Antonio, Texas. He grew up and was indoctrinated into the farming and ranching lifestyle of his family, working on several cattle ranches his family owned and managed in the area. Steve got his first exposure to construction serving as a helper for his late uncle; JW “Billy” Mueller, a local carpenter and cattleman at age seven. Steve is a natural, self-taught, artist and when asked to “draw what it would look like”, inadvertently began his architectural training. Steve has designed several homes and building remodels before the age of eight. Steve’s artistic talent is well known and established within the Jourdanton community having received many awards and public recognition for private and commercial projects. Even at an early age Steve showed a natural mastery over several mediums of artistic expression to include: pencil, charcoal, watercolor and sculpture. Steve routinely used his talents for school, church and city functions designing banners, activity scenes and advertisement. Steve’s skills were so advanced for his age that he was forced to compete at expert adult levels in competitions, in which he routinely won first prize. Steve graduated from Jourdanton High School in 1992 and enrolled into the Drafting & Design Program at Texas State Technical College the same year in Waco, Texas.

Steve is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Design Consortium LLC (UDC) and Dirt Dobber Construction LLC (DDC). His advancements in sustainable architecture has earned him national recognition as a pioneer in both design and construction of sustainable structures for community revitalization with such landmark projects as the HUD-1, HUD-2, LMI-1 and Jarvis House. Steve’s Greatest accomplish accomplishment comes from his development of the Universal Home™, a design standard unmatched today in the world of sustainability and building performance. The Universal Home™ Design Standard has revolutionized the residential built environment with its ground breaking integrated design philosophies that combine 7,000 year old construction techniques with modern day technological advances that have yielded the highest performance obtainable today.

 

Credentials

Steve founded Universal Design Consortium LLC (UDC) in November 2002, specializing in residential and commercial design and providing computer aided construction documents, graphic rendering services to architects and commercial builders while he was completing his undergraduate architecture study at Texas Tech University. While in school and after, Steve completed his architectural internship under the guidance of commercial architect Charles Pope; principal of Pope & Associates- San Antonio, Texas and local residential architect Don Davis; principal of Design Resources- Lubbock, Texas. Steve is registered with the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners Registration (TBAE) number 01560199 and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) architectural Intern Development Program (IDP) Record number 282973. Steve’s work has been nationally recognized for its benefits for Low to Moderate and rural housing applications.


Early Life

Steve was born and raised in Jourdanton, Texas, a small farming & ranching community 30 miles South of San Antonio, Texas. He grew up and was indoctrinated into the farming and ranching lifestyle of his family, working in his spare time on several ranches his family owned and managed in the area. Steve got his first exposure to construction serving as a helper for his uncle; JW “Billy” Mueller, a local carpenter and cattleman at age seven. Steve is a natural, self-taught, artist and when asked to “Draw what the building would look like,” he inadvertently began his architectural training. Having designed several homes and building remodels before the age eight, Steve’s artistic talent was well known and established within the Jourdanton community. Even at an early age, Steve had mastered several mediums of artistic expression to include; pencil, charcoal, watercolor and sculpture. Steve routinely used his talents for school, church and city functions designing banners, activity scenes and advertisement. Steve’s skills were so advanced for his age, that when he competed in art contest he was forced to compete at expert adult levels.Steve graduated from Jourdanton High School in Jourdanton, Texas and entered the Drafting & Design program at Texas state Technical College (TSTC) in Waco, Texas. Steve is a twice exceptional student with an IQ of 140. Despite this, his academic grades at TSTC were nothing to brag about and after a short time he dropped out and returned to South Texas to work on the ranch. Steve was diagnosed with Disorder of written expression in 1999 by the Texas Rehabilitation commission (TRC) - a disability that made typical academic settings a challenge due to his very developed creative spatial learning aptitude and the educational system inadequacies and failures to address the advanced skills of right brain dominant student. Steve later adapted to the education systems deficiencies, but never scored very high in academics and to this day is still a horrible test taker.


Military

With his failure at school behind him, and after 4 months of hard labor on the Mueller ranch in South Texas, Steve enlisted in the United States Air Force. Steve served on active duty for 4 years and is an Operation Desert Storm Veteran, having been deployed several times in support of combat operations in the early 90’s. The military’s Improvise, Adapt and Overcome philosophy strengthen Steve’s commitment to self-betterment and reenergized his thirst for knowledge and academic achievement. Steve served in both the 1710th Transportation Company- Virginia Army National Guard Bowling Green, Virginia and after transferring to Texas entered the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) in Lubbock while attending Texas Tech University eventually becoming a platoon leader with the 111th Engineering Battalion, Alpha Company, Assault & Obstacle Platoon- Texas Army National Guard in Abilene, Texas. In 2004-2005 Steve returned to the Middle East as a security contractor to support Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Steve left the military after 13 years of service in 2008 to concentrate on the advancement of universal architecture, the development of the Universal Home™ and to lead UDC into the national spotlight as a sustainable architecture firm pioneering cost effective solutions for community revitalization.


Construction

Steve’s architectural & construction experience includes drafting and custom home design for local San Antonio home builders. He has also worked in all areas of design and construction to include: Superintendent, Project Manager and Estimator for various construction companies in San Antonio and Lubbock, Texas. He has actual field experience and advanced construction knowledge in every system of building construction from Dirt work, Foundation installation to Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical installation and Framing to finish carpentry and roofing. In 1998-1999, after being honorably discharged from active duty with the United States Air Force and while living in Virginia Beach, Virginia, worked as a swimming pool designer supervising the construction of both residential and commercial projects for Douglas Aquatics of Hampton, Virginia. In the Winter of 2011, and after 23 years of construction experience, Steve founded Dirt Dobber Construction LLC to help facilitate the manufacturing of Compressed Earth Block (CEB), Installation of Natural Lime Plasters for UDC’s earthen projects and to provide service, training and education for builders and the public. Steve trained under Jim Hallock & Jeff Rottler, Founders of Instituto Tierra Y Cal, A.C. in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Lawrence Jetter, founder and President of Advanced Earthen Construction Technologies, Inc. (AECT) In earthen building principals. All are considered leading experts in earthen architecture.  


Architecture & Vision

Having completed over 80 commercial and residential projects throughout the state of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, Steve established himself for his ground breaking work in sustainable architecture with an emphasis on near zero energy, zero energy and positive energy designs for both residential and commercial applications. Steve has also been recognized for his advancements in survival architecture, having designed single family, multi-family and community safe room & Shelters. Based on his combat experience and being academically educated on the effects of Hurricanes and Tornadoes while attending Texas Tech University, his integrated shelter in place strategies not only protect the occupant during the event but also provide life essential support during the post event/ recovery stage.

Steve’s work in sustainable architectural design and increased building performance was fully realized with the development of design standards used in the Universal Home™ and in 2007, the home was first constructed for community revitalization purposes in Lubbock, Texas proving its necessity as a housing solution for Low to Moderate Income and Moderate Income applications. The Universal Home™ is specifically designed to accommodate any occupant, regardless of age, medical condition or income level, offer the most advanced performance in energy efficiency and cost equal to or lower than traditional “stick” or light framed constructed houses of the same size and configuration. Under Steve’s leadership, UDC has been nationally recognized for their accomplishments in community revitalization, sustainability in design and “off-grid” capable Universal Home™ designs in San Angelo and Abilene Texas.

Today, Steve is considered a leading expert in sustainable architecture, earthen architecture and community revitalization in Texas and his achievements have been showcased in several state and national professional magazines, newspapers and television interviews. In 2010, Bob Phillips, host of the Texas Country Reporter, did a piece on Steve's most advanced HUD funded Universal Home™ yet; the LMI-1 Home in Abilene, Texas. In addition to UDC Architectural Intern, Blake Smith’s experimental off-grid studio home in Cedar Gap, Texas. The LMI-1 Universal home™ was the first modernistic adobe design to be produced inside an inspection jurisdiction in Texas for community revitalization purposes and is hailed as a milestone in Earth Construction in Texas.

Research

Steve is heavily invested in the research & development and is focused on the evolution of the Integrated Ground source Heat Exchanger (GSHE), the Integrated Parabolic Trough and continuing his research, experimentation and documentation into Phase Change Materials (PCM’s) with a concentration in Earthen architecture as it responds to climate zones (Hot/Dry and Hot/Humid). Steve also collaborates with other researchers and scientist recognized in their fields for the betterment of sustainable housing.


Travel

Steve’s travels are extensive, having lived, worked and/or visited more than 40% of the world either through military missions, vacations, architectural study or research during different times in his life. His area of interest being monolithic architecture with an earthen emphasis has attracted him to explore historical architecture indigenous to Southwest Asia, Roman architecture of the Byzantine and ancient architecture with specific concentrations in Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec, Inca and Hopi Indian earthen structures. Steve has a keen interest in building performance in hot/dry and hot/humid climate zones around the world. Climate conditions very similar to those found throughout his home state of Texas.


Professional Organizations Memberships

Steve is a professional member of the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) North Texas Chapter, The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Texas Chapter, The Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC), The International Code Council (ICC), The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA), Association of the United states Army (AUSA), The American Legion, National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) and a Honorary member of the Arnold Air Society (AAS) Lewis C Ellis Jr. Squadron Detachment 820 Texas Tech University.


Charities

Steve is a proud active supporter and financial contributor of the Fisher House Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. Please support your wounded veterans!



assigned to the 142 infantry division as a cadet in Lubbock, Texas while attending Texas Tech University eventually becoming a platoon leader with the 111th Combat engineering Battalion, Alpha company, Assault & Obstacle Platoon- Texas Army National Guard in Abilene, Texas. In 2004- 2005 Steve returned to the Middle East as a Security Contractor in support of combat operations Iraqi freedom and Enduring freedom. Steve left the military with 13 years of service in 2008 to concentrate on the advancement of Universal Architecture, the development of the Universal Home™ and to lead UDC into the national spotlight as a nationally recognized sustainable architecture firm pioneering cost effective solutions for community revitalization.

Construction

Steve has worked in all areas and levels of construction to include: Superintendent, Project Manager and Estimator for various commercial construction companies in San Antonio and Lubbock, Texas. He has hands on experience and advance constructional knowledge in every system of building construction from Dirt Work, Foundation installation to electrical, plumbing and Mechanical installation and Framing to finish carpentry and roofing. In 1998-1999, after being honorably discharged from active duty with the United States Air Force and while living in Virginia Beach, Virginia, he worked as a swimming pool designer supervising the construction of both residential and commercial projects for Douglas Aquatics of Hampton, Virginia. In the winter of 2011, and after 23 years of construction experience, Steve founded Dirt Dobber Construction LLC to help facilitate the manufacturing of Compressed Earth Block (CEB), Installation of Natural Lime Plasters for UDC’s earthen projects and to provide service, training and education for builders and the public. Steve trained under Jim Hallock & Jeff Rottler, Founders of Instituto Tierra Y Cal, A.C. in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Lawrence Jetter, founder and President of Advanced Earthen Construction Technologies, Inc. (AECT) in earthen building principals. All are considered leading experts in earthen architecture.

Architecture & Vision

Having completed over 80 commercial and residential projects throughout the state of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, Steve established himself for his ground breaking work in sustainable architecture with an emphasis on near zero energy, zero energy and positive energy designs for both residential and commercial applications. Steve has also been recognized for his advancements in survival architecture, having designed single family, multi-family and community safe room & Shelters. Based on his combat experience and being academically educated on the effects of Hurricanes and Tornadoes while attending Texas Tech University, his integrated shelter in place strategies not only protect the occupant during the event but also provide life essential support during the post event/ recovery stage.

Steve’s work in sustainable architectural design and increased building performance was fully realized with the development of design standards used in the Universal Home™ and in 2007, the home was first constructed for community revitalization purposes in Lubbock, Texas proving its necessity as a housing solution for Low to Moderate Income and Moderate Income applications. The Universal Home™ is specifically designed to accommodate any occupant, regardless of age, medical condition or income level, offer the most advanced performance in energy efficiency and cost equal to or lower than traditional “stick” or light framed constructed houses of the same size and configuration. Under Steve’s leadership, UDC has been nationally recognized for their accomplishments in community revitalization, sustainability in design and “off-grid” capable Universal Home™ designs in San Angelo and Abilene Texas.


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Professional Organizations Memberships

Steve is a professional member of the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) North Texas Chapter, The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Texas Chapter, The Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC), The International Code Council (ICC), National and the Storm Shelter Association (NSSA)

Charities

Steve is a proud supporter and contributor of the Fisher House Foundation and Veterans of foreign Wars

Please support your wounded veterans!

Travel

Steve’s travels are extensive, having lived, worked and/or visited more than 40% of the world either through military missions, vacations, architectural study or research during different times in his life. His area of interest being monolithic architecture with an earthen emphasis has attracted him to explore historical architecture indigenous to Southwest Asia, Roman architecture of the Byzantine and ancient architecture with specific concentrations in Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec, Inca and Hopi Indian earthen structures. Steve has a keen interest in building performance in hot/dry and hot/humid climate zones around the world. Climate conditions very similar to those found throughout his home state of Texas.



Pictured Above: Steve backpacking thru the Sierra Madre's in Central Mexico

Pictured Above: Steve in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm

Pictured Above: Steve instructing UDC employees in the techniques of Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) erection.

Pictured Above: Steve with the Lubbock Design team holding up the first series 007 zero energy Universal Home™  specifically designed for the Lubbock community development department in 2007. Also pictured is Erik Carlson, Jacob Hilton and Kim Gilkerson.


Pictured Above: Steve with Chris Bakey posing a photo in front of the 1st manufactured Compressed Earth (CEB) pallet.


Pictured Above: Steve inspecting a Compressed Earth Block Home Construction project.


Today, Steve is considered a leading expert in sustainable architecture, earthen architecture and community revitalization in Texas and his achievements have been showcased in several state and national professional magazines, newspapers and television interviews. In 2010, Bob Phillips, host of the Texas Country Reporter, did a piece on Steve's most advanced HUD funded Universal Home™ yet; the LMI-1 Home in Abilene, Texas. In addition to UDC Architectural Intern, Blake Smith’s experimental off-grid studio home in Cedar Gap, Texas. The LMI-1 Universal home™ was the first modernistic adobe design to be produced inside an inspection jurisdiction in Texas for community revitalization purposes and is hailed as a milestone in Earth Construction in Texas.


Research

Steve is heavily invested in the research & development and is focused on the evolution of the Integrated Ground source Heat Exchanger (GSHE), the Integrated Parabolic Trough and continuing his research, experimentation and documentation into Phase Change Materials (PCM’s) with a concentration in Earthen architecture as it responds to climate zones (Hot/Dry and Hot/Humid). Steve also collaborates with other researchers and scientist recognized in their fields for the betterment of sustainable housing.


Travel

Steve’s travels are extensive, having lived, worked and/or visited more than 40% of the world either through military missions, vacations, architectural study or research during different times in his life. His area of interest being monolithic architecture with an earthen emphasis has attracted him to explore historical architecture indigenous to Southwest Asia, Roman architecture of the Byzantine and ancient architecture with specific concentrations in Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec, Inca and Hopi Indian earthen structures. Steve has a keen interest in building performance in hot/dry and hot/humid climate zones around the world. Climate conditions very similar to those found throughout his home state of Texas.


Professional Organizations Memberships

Steve is a professional member of the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) North Texas Chapter, The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Texas Chapter, The Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC), The International Code Council (ICC), The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA), Association of the United states Army (AUSA), The American Legion, National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) and a Honorary member of the Arnold Air Society (AAS) Lewis C Ellis Jr. Squadron Detachment 820 Texas Tech University.


Charities

Steve is a proud active supporter and financial contributor of the Fisher House Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. Please support your wounded veterans!





Military

With one year of college under his belt, Steve enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1993 and served on active duty for 4 years. Steve is an Operation Desert Storm Veteran, having been deployed several times in support of combat missions in the early 90’s. The military’s Improvise, Adapt and Overcome philosophy strengthen Steve’s commitment to self-betterment and re energized his thirst for knowledge and academic achievement. Once his active duty requirement had concluded he joined the Army National Guard and enrolled in community college. Steve served as a Vehicle Operator “Road Warrior” (88M) assigned to the 1710th Transportation Company- Virginian Army National Guard in Bowling Green, Virginia and after transferring to Texas in 1999 entered the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP)

Military Organization Memberships

Steve is a professional member of the American Civil Defense Association (TACDA), Association of the United states Army (AUSA), The American Legion Post 436, Veterans of Foriegn Wars Post 4853 and a Honorary member of the Arnold Air Society (AAS) Lewis C Ellis Jr. Squadron Detachment 820 Texas Tech University.

Pictured Above: Steve pictured above at a veteran memorial event in Pleasanton, Texas with (left to right) Post 4853 Sr. Vice Commander Patricia Hewitt, Atascosa county Judge & American Legion member, Bob Hurley, VFW Post 4853 Post Commander Steve Mueller, American Legion Post Commander Theresa Cruz