Creating towards a better tomorrow

Research in Architecture

The R+D Department is the research, branding and strategic planning arm of IDG+ Architects.

Our Director, DeQuales Thompson, aims to continuously expand and improve the services, approach and corporate knowledge of the firm.

At IDG+ we seek to cultivate ideas, innovation and techniques that result in a better built environment and a better quality of life for our planet. As a practice centered around education, we express our values to the community by demystifying and democratizing the practice of architecture. From community engagement to evidence-based design, we seek to communicate clearly with people as we discover new ways to design, build, and connect.

By assessing the ability of our projects to achieve their design goals through real world outcomes, we can identify the design interventions that are most effective through research, practice, and experimentation. This approach to practice is advantageous to our clients because it allows for a greater range of creative solutions with reduced risk.

The department provides many services, both within the firm and to our clients. We also seek out best practices from around the world and implement them throughout various aspects of our practice.

IDG+ Architects are committed to Research and Development long-term, with the full support of management to assist the firm in implementing:

  • Sustainable Project Delivery and Operations
  • Community-based design strategies
  • Evidence-Based Practice Model
  • Equity-based Operations

As architects who believe in the transformative power of education and knowledge, our efforts at R+D aim to mend the divide between academic theory and professional practice to create resources to uplift the next generation of architects.

“The R+D department brings an added dimension to the design, production, project management, and delivery processes.

By including the scientific method within our design process, we seek to substantiate our design decisions with measurable outcomes.”

~ DeQuales Thompson
Director of Research and Development, IDG+ Architects

Campus Safety Investigations

Apart from our continuous internal improvements, IDG+ is always searching for ways to improve school facilities. The R+D department engages in research to find solutions, (be they comprehensive or precise) to increase the safety and efficiency of school facilities and their operations.

The Fire Alarm Pull Station Control Project is the result of an investigation requested by The Sheldon Independent School District. The request came as many ISDs across the nation were looking to increase school safety and security after the Parkland incident. The incident shed a specific light on school facilities because the facility itself was used to bring harm to the people in the building.

IDG+’s R+D department investigated a strategy for districts to retrofit existing school facilities by removing fire alarm pull stations and replacing them with alarm systems that did not require human interaction. This retrofit results in a dramatic decrease in false alarms, creating a more efficient use of tax dollars associated with mobilizing first responders to a false alarm. As well as a decrease in school disruptions due to false alarms. Lastly, facility safety was improved by closing a loophole in the school’s protection and safety operations.

After the investigation revealed a strategy, the firm was able to execute the work with the district. IDG+ has published our findings so other districts will have the knowledge and strategy to retrofit their own existing buildings thus improving facility safety and efficiency for a low cost.


Building Award Winning
Communities Since 2001

Texas | Illinois

440 Benmar Drive, Suite 3335
Houston Texas 77060

3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

4507 Sterling Avenue, Suite 306
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Contact

Texas
Houston 832-448-2462
Dallas 214-615-6389

Illinois
Peoria 309-670-2466

Email Us

Creating towards a better tomorrow

Eddie Bernice Johnson Elementary School
Putting Students First

Elementary School

IDG+ Architects designed this beautiful 83,700 square foot school, which was named after Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, to serve 650 students.

The design concept was inspired by colors that support concentration and information absorption.

This vibrant and purposeful color scheme is one of the first elements to communicate the message behind the design -- on both visual and psychological levels.

This innovative facility solved community needs and enrollment growth while looking to the horizon for determining future student interests and skills.

The school serves students in Pre-K through the Fifth Grade and features an open central library and collaborative learning spaces. These collaborative learning spaces create a unique and inspirational academic experience.

Dallas Independent School District’s first brand-new school since 2015. Constructed as part of the 2015 Bond Program.

Eddie Bernice Johnson Elementary School
Eddie Bernice Johnson Elementary School
Eddie Bernice Johnson Elementary School
Elementary School
Eddie Bernice Johnson Elementary School
Elementary School
Elementary School

A 21st Century learning environment for students and teachers

Interior finishes include terrazzo flooring, ceramic tiling, visual display boards, folding partitions, custom millwork and an elevator as well as state-of-the-art mechanical, plumbing, electrical and technology systems.

The 83,700-square-foot campus includes an administrative area, media center, library, art and music classrooms, gymnasium, dining/stage, central plant, playgrounds, and parking.

"We were delighted to bring our best work to this 21st Century School. Our team worked with educators to design into the future.

Using light and color, we lit up the entire school while simultaneously making the most of sustainable building materials." 

~ Ben McMillan
President, IDG+ Architects

Key Information

Total Budget: $36,244,854
Construction Budget: $22,745,620
Architect: IDG+ Architects
Contractor: Ratcliff Constructors LP/VPG, JV
Program Manager: JACOBS
Project Manager: Abhi Nigudkar

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson 

“The teachers and facility in public schools across the country are responsible for inspiring and lifting millions of young people out of poverty and into the middle class. I am sure many teachers and faculty are facing difficult choices as we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Balancing their desire to help young people succeed in the future while calculating the risks going into the classroom may have on their health is no easy task. The least we can do is to stand with them and respect whatever decision is made.”


Building Award Winning
Communities Since 2001

Texas | Illinois

440 Benmar Drive, Suite 3335
Houston Texas 77060

3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

4507 Sterling Avenue, Suite 306
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Contact

Texas
Houston 832-448-2462
Dallas 214-615-6389

Illinois
Peoria 309-670-2466

Email Us

Creating towards a better tomorrow

Charles Atherton Elementary Awarded Stars of Distinction

Charles Atherton Elementary, designed by IDG+ Architects was honored by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). Awarded the Stars of Distinction, Exhibit of School Architecture, Atherton was awarded Stars of Distinction for excellence in three of the five areas of distinction.

Atherton was awarded Stars of Distinction for excellence in three of the five areas of distinction.

Atherton Elementary was designed as a 21st Century school. The range of features requested include vivid bursts of color, natural light, shared activity spaces, moveable walls, flexible seating arrangements and sustainable design based on the criteria outlined by Houston's Independent School District, (HISD).

Design
Flexible learning spaces can be found throughout the interior and exterior of the school. The building acts as a learning tool using a color-coded system to differentiate mechanical systems and structure. Numbers were also scored into the stairs to further enhance interactive learning. Sustainability is encouraged by use of recycling bins along with roof planting gardens for students. The design incorporated extensive use of color and natural daylight throughout the facility.

Value
Exterior elements of the school consist of stone, masonry and metal panels. Other design elements include sun shading devices, metal canopies and outdoor gardens. The team added clerestory windows to bring in natural light along the main artery including northern light that filters in at the second level. Flexible learning spaces were incorporated to inspire different levels of learning. Additional areas included a Cafetorium, Performing Arts wing and student roof planting gardens.

Sustainability
An instrumental element to the design was to make the facility environmentally friendly. To obtain LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, the facility includes a green roof with native plants for landscaping, utilizing local materials, installing a high efficiency energy system & high-albedo roofing for ongoing accountability of building energy consumption and provide daylight and views into regularly occupied areas. LEED Silver is pending.

The key element of the design focuses on community, a truncated sphere we call the history rotunda. It displays biographies of former students who attended the school who played an important role as mentors, educators, and politicians. Moreover, the Entry Plaza will display names of people who contributed and have been a part of the continued success of the school such as Barbara Jordon, Mickey Leland, El Franco Lee, Harold Dutton, George Foreman, Dr. Ruth Simmons.

The goal was to make Atherton a 21st Century elementary school that enables students to foster creative thinking, flexible problem solving and collaborative learning. Research played a significant role in transforming the school into the learning tool it is today. We involved the community in the design process through interactive briefing and design charrettes. By engaging the community, students, and staff, we fostered a long-lasting relationship, and provided an effective learning environment.

The project is on display on the Exhibit of School Architecture website. The Exhibit of School Architecture awards are given annually for new or renovated Texas schools and celebrates excellence in planning and design of the learning environment.

Houston Independent School District - 5.1 acre site, $12.6M construction cost, LEED Silver Certification

Click here to learn more about IDG+ Architect's K-12 design.

Atherton Elementary was named after Charles H. Atherton, who became the first principal of the Houston high school and he stayed in that position for twenty years. Thus he became a pioneer educator in Texas. The school is now known as Booker T. Washington High School and has celebrated its centennial.

Atherton first arrived in Texas in the 1880's after graduating from Mico College in his native land, Jamaica. Before becoming principal of Colored High School in 1893, Atherton was principal of an elementary school in Houston. It was known as the Third Ward School and Atherton served at its helm for at least five years before becoming principal of the high school.

Atherton spent his entire life as an educator, including serving as dean and professor at Prairie View A & M College. Even in religion, Atherton was concerned with education. He was very active with the Methodist church and recruited many of his teachers from Wiley College and other Methodist colleges. He also headed the Olivewood Cemetery Association which operated the Methodist cemetery.


Building Award Winning
Communities Since 2001

Texas | Illinois

440 Benmar Drive, Suite 3335
Houston Texas 77060

3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

4507 Sterling Avenue, Suite 306
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Contact

Texas
Houston 832-448-2462
Dallas 214-615-6389

Illinois
Peoria 309-670-2466

Email Us

Creating towards a better tomorrow

Ben McMillan inducted into HAABSE Advisory Board

HAABSE Mission

The Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators’ primary mission is to enhance the education of all students and to exercise leadership in providing valuable professional services and strategies to institutions, agencies, and communities engaged in creating an environment in which students, particularly black students, can achieve academic excellence.

HAABSE Goals

  • To focus on students, i.e., Literacy, Academics, and Mentorships
  • To increase Legislative Sensitivity of Black Educational Issues
  • To solicit Funds and Sponsorships for Educational Staff Development
  • To present a Recognition Program for Educators,
  • To provide Student Scholarships
  • To improve significantly the ability of Black educators to promote Problem Resolution
  • To create a meaningful and effective Network of strength, talent and professional support for students’ education
  • To network with agencies and institutions in presenting Professional Development workshops
  • To provide information to students and parents relative to preparation for college
  • To provide support to professional educators for career planning and development

"The Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators have been a champion for
students and families.

I am honored to be a part of this organization where I can demonstrate IDG+'s values toward education and community support."

~ Ben McMillan


Building Award Winning
Communities Since 2001

Texas | Illinois

440 Benmar Drive, Suite 3335
Houston Texas 77060

3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

4507 Sterling Avenue, Suite 306
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Contact

Texas
Houston 832-448-2462
Dallas 214-615-6389

Illinois
Peoria 309-670-2466

Email Us

Creating towards a better tomorrow

office
DeQuales Thompson, Ben McMillan and Anas Sada

IDG+ Architects Opens New Office

Ben McMillan, CEO of IDG+ Architects, announces a third office in downtown Dallas. Ben would like to thank you for your consistent support as we welcome a return to working in person beginning in March 2022.

IDG+ Architects was founded in 2001, as a multi-disciplined, full service architectural firm offering a full-range of architectural services including survey and analysis of existing facilities, programming, planning and interiors.

IDG+ is guided by the principle that conscientious, proper design has an enduring value. IDG+ applies the most creative and advanced technology with equal concern for economy, aesthetics, function and durability to achieve the most effective design solution that satisfies the needs, goals and objectives of the client.

Simply stated, IDG+ will do "whatever it takes" to assist our clients in having the most efficient, functional and well-designed facilities possible within their time, scope and budget allocations.

The cornerstone of the IDG+ business philosophy is unparalleled customer service. IDG+ Architects has experience in many of today's dynamic sectors, including education, government, housing, worship facilities, and commercial.

We look forward to meeting you in our new office at:

3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

For more information visit idgarch.com or call 214-615-6389.

IDG Drone Technology

IDG Drone Technology

IDG has implemented the IDG Drone which captures the project’s journey in construction. One of the top tools of the trade has became a standard for our firm.

Our main focus is to provide a facility using the best of the best for our clients, and the drone is ultimately the most efficient tool to aid us in managing a project.

The benefits of using drone photography/videography are:

  • Cost effective for capturing footage vs. using a helicopter/plane
  • Allows to inspect difficult to reach areas quickly and safely
  • Creates more accurate surveys
  • Captures aerial progress of construction
  • Keeps the project on track and on budget

We provide a weekly aerial bird’s eye view video of the entire project from start to finish to move in. The footage is reflecting the current status of Aldine Northside Transportation Center. 


Building Award Winning
Communities Since 2001

Texas | Illinois

440 Benmar Drive, Suite 3335
Houston Texas 77060

3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

4507 Sterling Avenue, Suite 306
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Contact

Texas
Houston 832-448-2462
Dallas 214-615-6389

Illinois
Peoria 309-670-2466

Email Us

IDG Wins International Design Competition!
Selected 1st Place from over 500 Participants and 71 Countries

Ben McMillan and DeQuales Thompson with IDG Architects in Houston, TX USA won the highly competitive Benga School Project for Active Africa.

The Benga Parish Secondary School is a community-oriented space designed to educate Malawian youth. The concept of this campus finds its origin in the representation of life as a journey along a path. The work seeks to symbolize education as a catalyst for success along this path. The theoretical intention of this concept is to materialize the path to success.

Students experiencing the space will physically and symbolically walk this path instinctively taking in the significance and purpose of the path’s design. In theory, the environment will be an ever-present gesture toward conscious action and life-long learning.

The organization strategy orbiting the library aligns itself to maintain the views from its center to nearby trees. The remaining segments within the radial boundary are used to organize the functions of the school campus, for instance the classrooms arranged in clusters by educational stage.

For Children in Africa

“The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it.”  

 ~ Kaldana Chawla (Astronaut)

Our research, through interviews and regional precedence revealed the need for additional programs. This includes designs such as an experimental garden (located near the kitchen), a clinic and a four-a-side football pitch. Through an environmental coordination approach, we conserve and manage the environment using architectural devices to our advantage.

Passive cooling, solar energy, on-site water incubation and selective irrigation helps achieve these objectives. Materials, systems and assemblies were designed to be constructed within local availability and resources. The new secondary school in Benga, Malawi is a step forward on the path of success for humankind.


Building Award Winning
Communities Since 2001

Texas | Illinois

440 Benmar Drive, Suite 3335
Houston Texas 77060

3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

4507 Sterling Avenue, Suite 306
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Contact

Texas
Houston 832-448-2462
Dallas 214-615-6389

Illinois
Peoria 309-670-2466

Email Us

Astros Be An Angel - Help A Child

We were proud to help support The Astros Foundation with the "Be an Angel, Help a Child" program to help make Christmas special for underprivileged kids.

Our volunteers helped decorate the bags to give each one a festive appearance. Over 5,100 holiday gift bags for children with disabilities were designed and delivered by volunteers.

The event took place at the George R. Brown Convention Center where more than 200 volunteers shopped, decorated and filled the bags.

Local school districts received the bags and distributed them to their children.


Building Award Winning
Communities Since 2001

Texas | Illinois

440 Benmar Drive, Suite 3335
Houston Texas 77060

3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

4507 Sterling Avenue, Suite 306
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Contact

Texas
Houston 832-448-2462
Dallas 214-615-6389

Illinois
Peoria 309-670-2466

Email Us
volunteer day

Volunteer Day at Houston Food Bank

IDG employees participated at the Texans Care Volunteer Day at the Houston Food Bank.

Volunteers at the Houston Food Bank help inspect, sort, pack, and/or repackage food for distribution to Food Bank clients in the 18 counties that surround Houston. Volunteers are critical for the success of the fight against hunger, producing 1 meal per minute at our facility and helping to distribute 79 million meals a year!

The Houston Food Bank is America’s largest food bank in distribution to its network of 600 hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. Named top charity in Texas by Charity Navigator for financial performance and accountability, the Houston Food Bank provides 83 million nutritious meals to food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers and other agencies, feeding 800,000 people each year. Fresh produce, meat and non-perishables are distributed from the warehouse, and hot meals are prepared and distributed from the new Keegan Kitchen, a 10,000 square foot, state-of-the-art industrial kitchen. Additional community services range from nutrition education to assistance with food stamp applications and hands-on job training.

The Houston Food Bank, founded in 1982, is a certified member of Feeding America, the nation's food bank network. The organization plans to grow to an annual distribution of 100 million nutritious meals by 2018.


Building Award Winning
Communities Since 2001

Texas | Illinois

440 Benmar Drive, Suite 3335
Houston Texas 77060

3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

4507 Sterling Avenue, Suite 306
Peoria, Illinois 61615

Contact

Texas
Houston 832-448-2462
Dallas 214-615-6389

Illinois
Peoria 309-670-2466

Email Us