Hines’ downtown Houston office tower 717 Texas has been certified at the Platinum level under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Volume Certification (LEED VC) Program.

In 2014, Hines rolled out the LEED VC Program, which was created in partnership with the USGBC with the goals of identifying the uniformity and similarities across the buildings that exist in Hines’ LEED EB efforts to date; capitalizing on these similarities to create a streamlined approach to obtaining LEED certification for the firm’s properties; and providing managers with guidance and tools that have been created for Hines personnel, by Hines personnel. The Hines LEED VC program allows properties key benefits while pursuing certification and recertification. To date, 33 properties to date have participated in the LEED VC Program, 22 of which have completed and received certifications.

Completed in 2003, 717 Texas is a 33-story, 696,421-square-foot office tower located in Houston’s downtown theater district. Designed by HOK, the granite-clad Class A office tower features some of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly office space in Houston.

In 2009, 717 Texas achieved LEED Silver and became the first commercial office building in Houston’s CBD to receive LEED certification from the USGBC. In 2011, 717 Texas improved their certification from Silver to Platinum and was the only skyscraper in the state of Texas to achieve the USGBC’s highest green building designation. In addition to LEED, 717 Texas has earned the Energy Star label nine times. With a current Energy Star┬áscore of 84, the building is 35 percent more energy efficient when compared to the average U.S. office building.

Hines Senior Managing Director John Mooz said, “When design was initiated in 2000, we made the decision to incorporate as many sustainable features as commercially possible. The quality of the tenancy and its high retention rate confirm that our strategy was indeed sound.”

Global Sustainability Officer Gary Holtzer added, “We are excited about this program and feel strongly that it creates significant value for the firm, and specifically for those properties that continually strive to make Hines a leader in sustainability.”

Sustainability features at the property include: increased waste diversion rates; reductions in potable water use inside the building and zero potable water use for exterior landscaping; improvements in green cleaning products and practices; a vegetated green sky garden terrace; highly efficient air ventilation and filtration systems; variable speed drives; and a condensate recovery system.

Image courtesy of Hines