Calpine Center (Houston, Texas)
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Raven
N 29° 45.695 W 095° 21.852
15R E 271402 N 3294709
Quick Description: 717 Texas Avenue -- formerly known as the "Calpine Center" -- is a 33-story, 453 ft (138 m) tall office tower in downtown Houston, Texas. Built in 2003, it was the first eco-sensitive skyscraper in Texas to be awarded LEED Platinum status.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 5/5/2013 11:56:00 AM
Waymark Code: WMH161
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member razalas
Views: 4

Long Description:
717 Texas Avenue -- formerly known as the "Calpine Center" -- is a 33-story, 453 ft (138 m) tall office tower in downtown Houston, Texas. Completed in 2003 and jointly architected by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum ("HOK") and Kendall/Heaton Associates Inc., the postmodern style skyscraper is flat on one side and features a long curve on the other, effectively making this a two-sided structure. Its curves are accentuated by a grid over blue glass, similar to a couple of other downtown Houston towers. It is the world headquarters of Calpine Corporation.

In 2002, a year before its completion, 717 Texas Avenue participated in the LEED for Core & Shell pilot study and is currently regarded as the most sustainable office property in downtown Houston. On December 22, 2010, the USGBC awarded the skyscraper a LEED EB:O&M Platinum Certification with a total score of 75/92, effectively making it the first eco-sensitive skyscraper in Texas to be awarded LEED Platinum status.

Below are some salient scorecard result details, per a case study from the Eco Analyst Group: (visit link)


* 717 Texas implemented an exterior maintenance management plan which greatly reduced the use of chemicals and non-biodegradable detergents, and manages water runoff to minimize possible contaminants in water returning to ground and/or entering Houston’s bayous.

* 100% of the building’s parking is covered, reducing heat island effects.

* 39% of all building occupants use an alternative method of commuting to and from work.

* 100% of the building exterior offices use occupancy sensors, reducing nighttime light pollution.

WATER EFFICIENCY (9/10 points)

717 Texas has a system of meters and sub-meters on the water-using systems in the building, allowing for effective tracking of water use and detection of leaks within the systems, minimizing waste of potable water.

* Implementing high-efficiency plumbing fixtures at original construction allows for continued efficient use of water.

* A “water chemical treatment plan” is utilized for the building HVAC system which not only allows for the efficient use of water, but also ensures
systems are performing at optimum efficiency, therefore using less energy.

* The condensate recovery system allows this property to capture and reuse condensate water from air handling units. The condensate is enough to water 100% of the property’s landscaping, including the vegetated skygarden terrace.

ENERGY & ATMOSPHERE (26/30 points)

* With an ENERGY STAR® score of 89, 717 Texas is 41% more efficient than if it were operating at the national average for energy performance.

* An extensive commissioning process was undertaken to determine what building systems could be operated more efficiently or upgraded to maximize energy efficiency.

* Green Power Renewable Energy Certificates were purchased for 100% of the building’s energy use for a span of two years and funds the development of green power (solar, wind, etc.).

* Carbon emissions were reported by the building to a third party to prove the building’s reductions of green house gasses beyond the national average.

MATERIALS & RESOURCES (12/14 points)

* Where possible, 717 Texas uses low-mercury content light bulbs and high efficiency LED lighting.

* The property currently recycles paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic, glass, light bulbs, and durable goods such as computers, monitors, copiers, microwaves, etc. with the goal of diverting usable waste from the landfill. This property diverted 250 Tons of building waste during the last LEED-EB performance period.


* A comprehensive high-performance green cleaning program is in place at 717 Texas, and cleaning effectiveness is tracked regularly to ensure that the policies and products are being utilized correctly and cleaning is at its highest standard.

* Of the building tenants, more than 95% of individual offices, multi-occupant workspaces and meeting/conference rooms have individual lighting controls; and nearly 70% of the occupants have views to the outdoors while seated and working. Studies show that tenants experience a reduction in absenteeism and an increase in productivity with a controllable work environment, daylight and a visual connection to the outdoors.

INNOVATION & DESIGN (7/7 points)

* In addition to the many “exemplary performance” credit achievements, 717 Texas received a special “Innovation in Operations” credit with the Hines Green Office education program, helping tenants understand how they can contribute to reducing their carbon footprint and operating “green”.
Wikipedia Url: [Web Link]

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Benchmark Blasterz visited Calpine Center (Houston, Texas) 11/27/2015 Benchmark Blasterz visited it
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