Elizabeth Lavin

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Inside TreeHouse, a Home Store of the Future

The first energy-positive store in America opened on June 1.

TreeHouse, most easily explained as “the Whole Foods of home improvement,” may have gotten its start in Austin, but CEO Jason Ballard considers their new 35,000-square-foot store at the corner of North Central Expressway and Walnut Hill Lane his company’s flagship in every way.

Like many young CEOs, Ballard set out to disrupt his industry, but TreeHouse is the real deal. Inspired after discovering the incredible amount of energy and nonrenewable resources used in homes, the Texan made it his mission to help people shelter themselves without ruining the world—and their own health. “The most toxins any of us will be exposed to in our lifetime happens in our homes. This was an idea I could not shake,” Ballard says.

That passion led to TreeHouse’s partnerships with some of the most innovative, eco-friendly companies in the home improvement market. Inside the store, you’ll find Dunn-Edwards non-toxic paint, energy-saving Big Ass Fans, Nebia’s water atomizing shower head. TreeHouse is also the first to carry Whirlpool’s Zera food recycler and Tesla’s anticipated Powerwall. “You get a better experience and an elegant design all while reducing your ecological footprint,” Ballard says. “That’s the kind of innovation we need in the housing sector moving forward.”

The Dallas store also practices what TreeHouse preaches—it occupies the most sustainable structure in Texas and the first energy-positive building in America. Designed by architect Lake|Flato to more closely resemble an oversized contemporary residence than a typical home improvement store, TreeHouse’s Dallas location is the first store to be fueled by Tesla’s Powerwall home battery, is filled with natural light, and was even constructed around a massive legacy oak tree. “We hired an arborist and a forester to protect it and save it,” Ballard notes.

The Dallas store also offers interior design and turn-key installation services. “It’s not enough to have a high-performance window if it’s been installed poorly,” Ballard adds. Pay a visit to experience TreeHouse’s “Home School,” where topics range from solar power to native landscaping, or stop by for a cooking class in their full-service kitchen, where Dallas chefs will demonstrate with low-energy cookware and smart appliances.

“It is existentially urgent that we find a way to shelter ourselves in this world without ruining it and ourselves,” Ballard says. “Our homes should be expressions of our highest and best selves, and that is ultimately what TreeHouse is here to do.”

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