Design Tech Homes and Origin Architects Team Up with Gary Sinise Foundation

Friday, 08 August 2014 00:00

Groundbreaking begins for severely injured Marine Veteran, Travis Green

San Antonio—August 8, 2014—The groundbreaking ceremony for veteran Marine Gunnery Sgt. Travis Green took place yesterday as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s (GSF) Smart Home initiative. Design Tech Homes will soon start construction of the new one-story home, which was designed by Origin Architects’ Javier Medina. It is projected to be completed by the end of spring 2015.

Green lost both legs while under fire near Kajaki Dam during his deployment in Afghanistan. He served in the Marine Corps for more than 10 years, fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was first accepted to the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) program during his service in Iraq.

“It is quite frankly an honor to do this for any veteran, but especially a fellow Marine,” said Brad Morris, San Antonio division president of Design Tech Homes who is also a former Marine. “Our commitment to our veterans is both sincere and strong. Our veterans have done so much for us and any opportunity to give back to them is one that is well worth it.”

Green met with Design Tech Homes a little over a year ago while interviewing other homebuilders. He selected Design Tech Homes to build his Smart Home, which is a design standard specifically set by the foundation established by actor Gary Sinise in 2011 to build homes for the nation’s severely wounded heroes.

The home was designed following the “Hill Country” style, which is named after the rolling hills of San Antonio and its surrounding areas. According to Medina, Origin Architect’s design took a traditional approach with contemporary touches. The Smart Home goes beyond traditional accessibility practices required by the American Disabilities Act (ADA), by additionally following very strict Department of Veterans Affairs’ “Specially Adapted Housing” guidelines.

The home will include a wrap-around porch, a metal roof and well insulated six-inch thick walls layered with limestone veneer for added insulation. This, coupled with other energy efficient techniques, will make the home meet and exceed Energy Star requirements. The custom residence has numerous points of access and exit, a key request from Green.

Among other features, the home was also designed to ensure sufficient storage space for Green’s prosthetics, as well as a very large shower, a transfer bench at the tub, a raised hearth for the fireplace, automatic doors, specialized lighting to avoid tripping hazards, and a specially designed sink for maintaining his prosthetics.

Green is married and the father of four children, which was something Medina used as the foundation for his design.

“We definitely didn’t lose the perspective on family,” he said. “We created a ‘Kid Zone’ with a play room, which can be screened from the main living areas. When we Skyped during the first few meetings, I would always see the kids in the background. We made sure the whole children’s area was as kid-friendly as possible. The home is also universally adapted, which means anyone, children included, can access and interact with the home and its features.”

He said Green has been hands-on from the beginning and that he has known what he’s wanted when it came to meeting his family’s aesthetic needs and those of his own.

“He’s a very independent guy. The house was designed to where he could maintain it himself,” Medina said. “The goal of the house was to not make it look like an ADA house. It’s been a very rewarding experience, especially with what he has done for our country. It’s good to be able to pay it back after what he’s gone through.”

Medina added that he feels this opportunity has created a great relationship that could provide more opportunities for Design Tech Homes and Origin Architects to collaborate with GSF.

The house is being paid for through GSF. Funds were raised by the foundation’s donors and also a fundraising concert by Sinise’s band called the Lt. Dan Band, named after the character he played in the 1995 Best Picture winner, Forrest Gump.


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Design Tech Homes

Design Tech Homes (DTH) launched in 1997 and has continued to grow as one of the largest, family-owned custom home builders in Texas. Design Tech Homes has built some of the finest homes in Houston, San Antonio, and the Austin-Bastrop areas and continue to provide clients with the excellent work they have come to expect. For more information about Design Tech Homes, visit

Origin Architects

Origin Architects is a Houston-based architectural firm offering full architectural services to design truly custom homes that are unique to their clients’ personalities. Origin Architects’ portfolio of projects includes custom designed homes which have been built throughout several key Texas areas. Their homes cover a wide diversity of styles such as coastal, in-town, and timber-frame designs along with features such as walk-out basements, energy-efficient components and wheelchair accessibility. For more information, visit Origin Architects.

Gary Sinise Foundation

Actor Gary Sinise launched the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011 to honor its defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. These include its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment) program, whose flagship initiative is a custom Smart Home building project for severely wounded veterans. For more information on the foundation, visit

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