A new office tower in downtown Houston is packed with green building features
1.1 million square feet
Pickard Chilton Architects
Colvill Office Properties
An office tower in downtown Houston is reaching new heights when it comes to sustainability. The 47-story 609 Main at Texas has a rainwater harvesting system, a constant air purification system, and LED lighting, among countless other features, making it a shining example for buildings of the future.
The 1.1-million-square-foot office tower is seeking Gold or Platinum LEED certification when the project is complete by the end of January 2017. The building takes up a full city block and has not one but two rooftop gardens, widely used recycled construction materials, and an extensive network of sensors and controls to measure the building’s performance. “We are excited about bringing to market the next-generation building that represents the culmination of the technology, efficiencies, and amenities for the workplace of tomorrow,” says Hines Managing Director Philip Croker. “Underfloor air distribution, 10-foot ceilings, state-of-the-art conference center, world-class gym, hospitality-driven building lobbies, and significant street-level retail options all contribute to a building that delivers the best possible home for companies looking to focus on employee recruitment and retention.”
Even before 609 Main officially opened its doors, multinational tenants like Kirkland & Ellis, Hogan Lovells, Orrick, and United Airlines signed on to call it home. The building is entirely office space, with the exception of retail on the ground floor. For brands looking to commit to sustainable missions, the move was common sense. “Hines believes having sustainable building technology is not only the right thing to do in this environment, but also the right answer for the tenants within the building. These technologies all provide a better home for businesses through increased daylight, indoor air quality, ultra-efficient building systems, and water harvesting and recycling technology, to name just a few,” Croker says. Oh, and did we mention the five electric car charging stations?
Heating and cooling are a breeze at 609 Main, too, considering the high-performance building envelope, with double-pane low-e glass and insulated glass units. The building’s temperature overall is controlled using an underfloor air delivery system. With minimal ductwork and no mechanical equipment in the ceiling plenum, such a system saves up to $7 per RSF (rentable square foot).
As for the overall feel of the building, it’s a beauty, with a nearly 15,000-square-foot ground floor lobby that has retail areas and floor-to-ceiling glass, a water feature, and even a green wall. From here you may also access downtown via a tunnel system, so no worries on those rainy, muggy days. The second floor—awash in natural light—includes an 8,500-square-foot conference center and 7,000-square-foot fitness center.