Ero Architects

Zapata County Technical and Advanced Education Center

Zapata County
  • Client

    Zapata County

  • Budget


  • City


  • Sq. Ft.



The Zapata County Technical and Advanced Education Center is a distance learning center for such regional universities located in South Texas as Texas A&M International, Laredo College and South Texas College to provide education and training for Zapata County residents. It offers state-of-the-art telecommunications, networking and media technology. The project provides six classrooms and faculty offices with a flexible interior layout which support the college’s mission to provide a diversified instruction complex.

The design forms a strong sense of place and a campus-like community. The building’s curved arrangement and passageway creates an indoor and outdoor environment. The curvature also lends itself to the landscaped courtyard creating a sense of campus.

The Zapata County Technical and Advanced Education Center is certified Green. It features two alternate sources of energy, one of which is passive solar. The building, found along US 83, is keyed into the natural grade of the site that slopes down toward to the Rio Grande River. This creates an earth shelter on all its sides except for the southern exposure where a metal trellis provides high-quality filtered shading. In addition, the combination of energy-efficient interior lighting with exterior solar screens control the direct sunlight. Additionally, the well-insulated building envelope and a partial “green roof" contribute to low energy consumption.

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