The Houston office of Hines, the international real estate firm, announced that its iconic headquarters building, Williams Tower, has received Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System. Williams Tower is a 1.5 million ft² (138,000 m²), 64-story office building that was developed by Hines in 1982 and has been managed and leased by Hines since. Designed by Philip Johnson/John Burgee, the tower was once the largest building in the world outside of a downtown area.
Hines implemented a series of retrofits and building upgrades.
Challenging traditional assumptions about skyscrapers, Williams Tower has demonstrated excellent energy efficiency, as reflected in its recognition by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. With six ENERGY STAR labels and a current ENERGY STAR rating of 85, the building is 34% more energy efficient and annually saves $1.33 per ft² in energy costs when compared to the national average office building. This translates into greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to removing 2,125 cars from the road.
Hines' property management team recently took the building through the LEED certification process, implementing a series of retrofits and building upgrades to meet rising tenant expectations for high-performing, sustainable office space.
Ford Hubbard, marketing director of HOK Houston, which has been a tenant in the tower since 1996, said, "As with architectural quality, Hines was a pioneer among commercial developers for its early adoption of sustainable construction and operations practices. The LEED Gold certification validates that the strategies Hines has espoused for decades really do workand this is, in part, what has kept HOK in this building for so long."
Green features and programs include: reduction in indoor potable water use through low-flow fixtures; heat island reduction through reflective surfaces; environmentally sensitive cleaning products; a comprehensive recycling and waste diversion program; green build-out guidelines for tenants; and the implementation of a comprehensive and ongoing retro-commissioning program, among other things.
Hines President Jeffrey C. Hines said, "Reflecting our firm's guiding principleswhich state that we will strive to be the industry leader in sustainabilitythe certification of our headquarters is symbolic of the commitment we have to green our entire portfolio and to deliver the highest quality to tenants, owners and investors."
Williams Tower is leased to a number of world class companies, including: Citi, Hines, HOK, Rowan Companies, Van Kampen Investments, Wachovia, and Williams, among others.