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Steven Von Mueller, Principal

Mr. Mueller was born and raised in Jourdanton, Texas, a small farming and ranching community in Atascosa County, located 30 miles south of San Antonio, Texas. Commonly called the brush country for its rugged terrain, it is known for its cattle ranches, farms and vast hunting & Oil resources. Mr. Mueller grew up indoctrinated into the farming and ranching lifestyle of his family, working on several large cattle ranches

his family owns and manages in the area, owned by the family for several generations. Mr. Mueller is the eldest of three children and received his first exposure to construction working with his late uncle JW “Billy” Mueller, a local builder and cattleman, at age seven. Mr. Mueller is a natural, artist with mastery of several mediums such as

pencil, charcoal, water color and sculpture at a very young age. Talents that went hand and hand when assisting his uncle’s construction company with drawing Construction Plans and developing design strategies. Mr. Mueller had completed numerous residential construction projects and commercial art project

commissions prior to his senior year in high school and is still routinely commissioned to produce commercial art for advertisement needs to this day. Mr. Mueller is an alumnus of Jourdanton High School and was active all four years, lettering in Indian Football, Band, Industrial Technology and

Commander Mueller with his cousin Travis Tymrak after extinguishing a  brush fire in Atascosa County.

Future Farmers of America.  Mr. Mueller is still active in his home town and carried on a family tradition in becoming a Fireman with the Jourdanton Volunteer Fire Department.

Early Life  


Mr. Mueller has served as an airman, a soldier and a security contractor with multiple deployments supporting combat operations in various locations throughout Southwest Asia in the 90’s and 2000’s. Mr. Mueller’s first combat deployment was during Operation

Post Commander Mueller during Operation Desert Storm.

Desert Storm (ODS). Serving with the 4404th Composite Wing (Provisional) Transportation Squadron “Hells Finest” as a vehicle operator (2T151) at King Abdulaziz Air base in Dhahran Saudi

Arabia and later in Ahmad Al-Jaber Air Base in Kuwait in support of Operation Southern Watch. Mr. Mueller was a road warrior during ODS and ran convoy missions between forward operating bases in the region. After completing his 4 years of active duty with the USAF, Mr. Mueller enlisted in the Virginia Army National Guard. He served as an 88M with the 1710th transportation company in Bowling Green, Virginia until

college at Texas Tech University. Mr. Mueller was enrolled in the Air Force ROTC program his first 3 years of college. In 2004, between his junior and senior years of college, Mr. Mueller took a sabbatical from his academics and returned to Southwest Asia. Once again, supporting

combat missions of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom this time in the Private Military Contractor role with Vinnell Arabia. After returning from his final deployment, Mr. Mueller took advantage of the Blue to Green incentive Program and transferred from the USAF ROTC program to the US Army ROTC program his senior year of college, contracted as a Combat Engineering Officer. After college Mr. Mueller served as a Combat Engineering Platoon Leader, commanding the Assault & Obstacle Platoon with Alpha Company 111th Engineer Battalion Texas Army National Guard, eventually concluding his 13 year military career in 2008 to focus on his growing architecture firm.

Business Interests

Mr. Mueller has more than 20 years of business management experience having founded and served on several for profit and nonprofit board of directors. Mr. Mueller founded and manages his architectural firm; Universal Design Consortium LLC TBAE Reg.# BR1702 and his earthen construction company; Dirt Dobber Construction in a full time capacity.

Mr. Mueller also founded and serves on the board of several tax exempt nonprofit organizations such as the US Veteran Housing Program™, US Veteran Council™, Atascosa Veteran Council™, Atascosa County Veteran Food bank™ and ComVet Aviation™.   

with modern day technological advances that have yielded the highest performance obtainable today in building design. Best utilized in Community revitalization applications the Universal Home™ has evolved to solve the very basic low to moderate income housing issues that effects every major American city. Mr. Mueller’s work and publications have been featured in numerous professional magazines, podcasts, Internet discussion forums, syndicated television news programs and short films.

Mr. Mueller is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Design Consortium LLC (UDC). Mr. Mueller founded UDC in Lubbock, Texas February of 2000 as a sustainable architectural firm focused on the development of sustainable high performance building strategies. Mr. Mueller’s advancements in sustainable architecture has earned him international recognition as a pioneer in both design and construction of sustainable earthen structures for community revitalization with such landmark projects as the HUD-1, HUD-2, LMI-1 and Jarvis House. Mr. Mueller has received numerous awards and recognition for his progressive use of alternative material integration and his greatest accomplishment comes from his development of the Universal Home™, a design standard unmatched today in the world of sustainability and building performance. The Universal Home™ Design Standard is an integrated design philosophy that combines 7,000 year old construction techniques with modern

Academic Training

Steve completed his Architectural training at Texas Tech University while serving in the military. While at Tech, he trained under several leaders in their field including Texas Tech University College of Engineering Dean; Dr. Ernst Kiesling, founder of the National Storm Shelter Association and author of the FEMA Storm Shelter standards. Mr. Mueller trained under associate Dean of the Texas Tech University College of Engineering, Dr. William Marcy, who's knowledge of reflective solar applications was instrumental in propagating the development of the Integrated Parabolic Trough System (IPTS) energy production system. The IPTS is the leading energy system currently being developed and tested by UDC for both residential and commercial applications.

Academics & Professional Credentials

Earthen Building Systems

Mr. Mueller trained with the late University of Oklahoma as Dean of the College of Architecture; Dr. Charles Graham in researching and quantifying the performance factors of utilizing alternative building methods for residential applications. Mr. Mueller studied with Professor John Morony and still consults with him today for evaluating the scientific effects of phase change to earth structures as it relates to building performance. Specifically, latent heat, moisture exchange rates, heat flux and the mass effect phenomenon specific to earth building types observed in the field. Mr. Mueller completed his Compressed Earth Block (CEB) construction and natural plaster training under the guidance of Jim Hallock & Jeff Rottler, Founders of Instituto Tierra Y Cal, A.C. in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Lawrence Jetter, founder of Advanced Earth Construction Technologies, Inc. (AECT) in San Antonio, Texas.

Architecture Research

Mr. Mueller is a building scientist first and foremost. Actively engaged in Research and Development for the last 20 years, his advancements in developing and implementing sustainable strategies has recently materialized into reality with the production version of the Universal home™. Using alternative building methods and materials in construction has enabled for the high performance production of homes for low to moderate income applications within inspection jurisdictions throughout the state of Texas. These strategies are showcased in the P1 Prototype, Andrea Bogus house, Hud-1, Hud 2, Hud-3, LMI-1 and Jarvis House. Providing low cost housing solutions for low income occupants and their families. Current material and system development continues in the coupled Integrated Ground source Heat Exchanger (GSHE), The Integrated Parabolic Trough energy production system, Tubular Lighting system. Continued research and evaluation into alternative Phase Change materials (PSM’s), Heat flux process and the Mass Effect Phenomenon observed in earth structures at UDC’s Grunes Gras Studio in South Texas and numerous projects throughout West Texas. These elements are currently being tested, evaluated and developed for use in the next generation of a Zero energy designed Universal Homes™.

Architecture & Vision

Mr. Mueller is an internationally recognized pioneer in community revitalization and is the inventor of the Universal Home™. The Universal Home™ design standard is a collection of integrated field proven strategies developed over the last 20 years. Specifically the Universal Home™ is a reactive building, specifically designed to operate as a near zero energy to a positive net zero energy building system. The home incorporates integrated design philosophy made up of four areas; Sustainability, Accessibility, Protection and Energy performance and is an evolution of Franklin Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Home concept. However, The Universal Home™ is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of veterans and follows the design guidelines developed by

architect Ron Mace on Universal Design and Visitability. These homes are designed to be flexible and to maximize environmental advantages and include the integration of; Grey Water Systems, High Performance Mechanical systems, Tubular natural Lighting systems, Drought Tolerant Landscaping, Natural hot water production systems and renewable energy production systems (Wind, Photovoltaics and Reflective solar).

Architectural Credentials

After college, Steve completed his Architectural Internship requirements under the guidance of Charles Pope/ Principal architect of Pope & Associates, San Antonio Texas designing retail, restaurant and commercial facilities and Don Davis/ Principal architect of Design Resources, Lubbock Texas designing luxury homes. Steve’s professional architectural credentials and records are maintained and can be obtained by contacting the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) in Washington DC and/or the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) in Austin, Texas.

Construction Qualifications

Mr. Mueller has extensive construction knowledge that covers both residential and commercial construction in numerous areas. Spanning 36 years and having worked in all phases of vertical construction from pad preparation to finish out, Mr. Mueller’s is an expert in design-Build. Initially trained as a framer and finishing carpenter, Mr. Mueller has served as a; Site Forman, Site Superintendent, Project Manager, Construction

Manager and Estimator for several commercial construction companies in San Antonio and Lubbock. In addition, Mr. Mueller gained his aquatic construction experience when he was employed by Douglas Aquatics of Hampton, Virginia designing and constructing commercial swimming pools. Mr. Mueller is routinely asked to lecture and consults with other design professionals and builders on subjects of Adobe, Rammed Earth, Compressed Earth Block, Storm shelter design and Earth plaster construction and application techniques.

Pictured Above: Steve with the Lubbock Design team holding up the first series 007 zero energy Universal Home™  specifically designed for the Lubbock community development department in 2007. Also pictured is Erik Carlson, Jacob Hilton and Kim Gilkerson.

Pictured Above: Steve with Chris Bakey posing a photo in front of the 1st manufactured Compressed Earth (CEB) pallet.

Professional & Academic Organizations Membership

Military Organization Membership


Steve’s travels are extensive, having lived, worked and/or visited more than 40% of the world either through military missions, vacations, architectural study or research during different times in his life to include all 7 continents. His area of interest being monolithic architecture with an earthen emphasis has attracted him to explore historical architecture indigenous to Southwest Asia, Roman architecture of the Byzantine and ancient architecture with specific concentrations in Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec, Inca and Hopi Indian earthen structures. Steve has a keen interest in building performance in hot/dry and hot/humid climate zones around the world. Climate conditions very similar to those found throughout his home state of Texas.

Charitable Work

Mr. Mueller is a member of several military and veteran organizations and is a champion of veteran causes. In 2017, concerned with the inadequacies of housing to address the unique needs of our returning combat veterans and with the completion of the development of the Universal Home™, Mr. Mueller founded the US Veteran Housing Program™ to facilitate the production of Universal Home™ specifically designed for veteran needs in the United States.

Steve Mueller, Post Commander of Atascosa County VFW Post 4853 being presented his second All-American Award by National Commander and Chief Brian Duffy.

Additionally, after realizing that traditional Veteran Organizations such as the Veteran of Foreign War (VFW) and American Legion are failing to successfully adapt to and address the requirements of our younger veterans, the US Veteran Housing Program™ will also construct Veteran Activity Centers (VAC’s) for the families of our returning veterans. The US Veteran Housing Program™ is a tax exempt 501c (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to veteran housing and recreational needs. In 2018, Steve co-founded the Atascosa County Veteran Food Bank™. The Atascosa County Veteran Food Bank™ is a tax exempt 501c (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting veterans in Atascosa County with emergency food supplies. Learning from the lessons

experienced while serving 5 years as an award winning VFW Post Commander and Post founder from 2014 to 2019 in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mr. Mueller, in February of 2019, founded the US Veteran Council™ and that same year successfully transitioned an established VFW Post to the entities first community Post in Pleasanton, Texas called the Atascosa Veteran Council™. The Post serves all of Atascosa County, Texas. The US Veteran Council™ and associated posts are an evolution of the failing Veteran Service organizational system. The difference, The US Veteran Council™ places a greater emphasis on the veteran family unit and youth programs rather than just the veteran. The US Veteran Council™ was developed to correct inefficiencies associated with

and encountered while Mr. Mueller served as an officer in the VFW by chaotic and ever changing political climate, establishing an experienced board of directors and adopting a more stable business matrix that promotes leadership training, confidence and continuity at all management levels. The US Veteran Council™ working collaboratively with the US Veteran Housing Program™, Atascosa County Veteran Food Bank™ and ComVet Aviation™ will sustain itself with donations made by the US Veteran Housing Program™ and the ComVet Aviation entity. This Income can be more precisely

dedicated to finance Veteran programs in the community and provide assistance to include vocational training and employment opportunities for our veterans as they re-acclimate into the community becoming a financially stable productive citizen after their military separation and reintroduction into the workforce.   

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