(HOUSTON) – The Houston office of Hines, the international real estate firm, announced today that 717 Texas has been certified at the Platinum level under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED® rating system for Existing Buildings (EB).
The building is the only skyscraper in the state of Texas to achieve the USGBC’s highest green building designation.
Hines Senior Vice President and Project Officer John Mooz said, “When design was initiated in 2000, we made a purposeful decision to incorporate as many sustainable features as commercially possible.
As a result, in 2009, 717 Texas became the first commercial office building downtown to earn LEED EB.
Now it is the only LEED EB Platinum skyscraper in the state.
The quality of the tenancy and its high retention rate appear to confirm that our strategy was indeed sound.”
Improvements over the building’s previous Silver certification include: an increase in ENERGY STAR rating; increased waste diversion rates; further reductions in potable water use inside the building and zero potable water use for exterior landscaping; and improvements in green cleaning products and practices.
Additional building features include: a vegetated green skygarden terrace; highly efficient air ventilation and filtration systems; variable speed drives; and a condensate recovery system.
City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker said, “This is the kind of activity we are hoping to see from more commercial office property owners and managers in Houston—reaching for certification, and then maintaining those improvements over time. It helps the environment and it elevates Houston’s reputation as a green city, which goes a long way toward attracting and retaining top employers.”
717 Texas has earned the ENERGY STAR label four times.
With a current ENERGY STAR score of 90, the building is 41 percent more energy efficient and saves more than $700,000 in annual energy costs when compared to the average U.S. office building.
This translates to estimated annual greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to removing 1,010 passenger vehicles from the road
Hines Property Manager Adam Rose said, “As one of the first buildings in the world to re-certify under theLEED EB program, we have demonstrated that sustained progress in a large multi-tenant building is feasible over the long term through the attentive and collaborative efforts of the building management, tenants and ownership.”
Designed by HOK and Kendall Heaton Associates, and developed by a joint venture of Hines and Prime Asset Management in 2003, 717 Texas is a 33-story, 696,421-square-foot office tower located in downtown Houston.
Relying on sustainable design principles and cutting-edge building technologies, the building’s architect executed on a design to maximize energy efficiency and occupant comfort.
As a result, the building was invited to participate in the LEED for Core & Shell pilot program in the early part of the last decade.
To assist Hines with the LEED EB re-certification process, Kirksey Architecture was retained as a consultant.
Hines and Kirksey have completed over 16 million square feet of LEED EB certifications since 2009.
717 Texas is leased to: Avalon; Calpine; Jones Day; Plains Exploration; and TransCanada.
Hines is responsible for building management and leasing.
Hines is one of the most sustainable real estate companies in the world.
In 2010 Hines was recognized by the EPA, for the third time, with the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award; Hines manages 153 labeled buildings, representing more than 77 million square feet, in the ENERGY STAR program.
Twelve Hines development or redevelopment projects, representing more than six million square feet, have been designated as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.
Hines is also a leader in the U.S. Green Building Council’s programs, with 202 projects, representing more than 107 million square feet that have been certified, pre-certified or registered under the various LEED® rating systems.
Hines was a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council and the Russian Green Building Council, and is active in the Green Building Council Brasil, the Green Building Council España, the Green Building Council Italia, the Indian Green Building Council, the BRE Environmental Assessment Method program in the United Kingdom and the Haute Qualité Environnementale program in France.
Hines is a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide. The firm’s historical and current portfolio of projects that are underway, completed, acquired and managed for third parties includes 1,119 properties representing more than 457 million square feet of office, residential, mixed-use, industrial, hotel, medical and sports facilities, as well as large, master-planned communities and land developments. With offices in 100 cities in 17 countries, and controlled assets valued at approximately $23 billion, Hines is one of the largest real estate organizations in the world. Visit www.hines.com for more information.
To learn more about sustainability at Hines, visit www.hines.com/sustainability.