Dallas TreeHouse: A Model of Sustainability

“We can’t totally unplug, but we have the ability to be completely off the grid,” Joseph Blalock says.



From massive solar panels to barrels that capture rainwater, the Dallas TreeHouse will practice what it preaches.

The eco-friendly home improvement store has started construction and will open in spring 2017 on Walnut Hill Lane just east of Highway 75 in Dallas. It’s the second location for the Austin-based company.

The 30,000-square-foot building will be a showcase for sustainability to show customers what’s possible. The net-zero facility will generate all its power from the more than 11,000-square-feet of solar panels on the roof while the Tesla power pack batteries store excess power for later use.

The 164.3 kilowatt system offsets more than 337,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

“We can’t totally unplug, but we have the ability to be completely off the grid,” said Joseph Blalock, director of brand and marketing.

The capacity of the solar system is based on the energy usage at the Austin store, which used to be a Borders Bookstore before TreeHouse took it over.


In the outdoor living section, they’ll have barrels connected to the gutters to capture the rain, allowing them to water plants, Blalock said. The building will be oriented so the windows will face north, letting in natural light without being in direct sunlight.

“We’ll be able to run the store the majority of the day on natural sunlight without turning on any lighting,” Blalock said.

The store itself will sell solar panels, smart thermostats, Tesla power walls and ceiling fans that communicate with the thermostat.

“We’ll be able to look up their home and see a view of their roof and quickly know how big of a solar array that they can have,” Blalock said.

They also sell products that don’t have chemicals and other harmful materials.

The goal is to show people what’s possible in the store using today’s technology. They aren’t just going after the passionate environmentalists, they think this will catch on with the wider population.

“Our ultimate mission is to touch as many homes as possible.” 
Joseph Blalock

“Our ultimate mission is to touch as many homes as possible,” he said. “We believe we make that kind of change through technical advances such as selling solar arrays to people. Come in and talk with one of the home performance and design consultants.”

The store also offers financing to help pay for solar panels and other large-scale projects.

They also sell Haiku ceiling fans that spin faster or slower based on the communication with the Nest thermostat. The high-tech fans also have motion sensors that turn on when people enter a room.

TreeHouse already is exploring locations for a third location elsewhere in Texas but it’s too early to say.


TreeHouse’s store on Walnut Hill Lane will be a 30,000-square-foot facility.

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