Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (Max Pot)

8604 FM 969, 78724
Pliny Fisk III, Benjamin Obregon
Lucia Athens and Chad McKinney, Sally Struble


The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, a think tank and research campus popularly shortened to “Max Pot” by in-the-know Austinites, operates from the Advanced Green Builder Demonstration Building (AGBDB) among a collection of small buildings overlooking the rapidly developing East Austin countryside. The AGBDB is crowned by multiple rooflines designed to harvest as much rainwater as possible and is constructed from recycled and byproduct building materials, mostly without finishes. The AGBDB introduces a range of green building techniques and solutions while Max Pot researches and develops sustainable building methods and practices.


Max Pot shares the raw, experimental aesthetic of the sustainability projects of Buckminster Fuller, expressing its ethos of integrating with nature by sensitively blending into the Central Texas landscape. Simple, modular, and cost-efficient, the structure expresses a straightforward, sensible, and sustainable approach to building systems. Its absolute reduction and simplicity of buildings, materials, and finishes serves as a striking example of the Max Pot mission, a unique experience, and a redefinition of contemporary architecture. It is an embodied argument of what founder and architect Pliny Fisk III describes as the imperative to “supersimplify” in response to the environmental harm of our mainstream building practices.

Max Pot’s research addresses the issues of affordability, expandability, and economic development in the face of Austin’s explosive growth. Responses around the grounds—in the form of rainwater cisterns, raised galvanized garden planters and cut-out metal signage—express the hands-on, grassroots approach to environmental stewardship and a uniquely Austin individual green building act of creative resistance.

Max Pot is open to the public only during events listed on their website. –  Riley Triggs, AIA

Sustainability Highlights

  • The City of Austin created the nation’s first green building program based on work done by Max Pot starting in 1989.
  • Since 1991, Austin Energy Green Building has influenced over 18,000 buildings in Austin and served as the model for the green building program for the State of Texas and the United States Green Building Conference (USGBC) LEED standards.
Photo Credits:

Blake Gordon