29 NOV 2016

Kirksey, City, and Mayor Turner Celebrate City of Houston Traffic LEED Gold Ceremony


The Building is 23% More Energy-Efficient and Diverted Over 88% of Waste from Landfills

HOUSTON, TEXAS Mayor Sylvester Turner and City officials joined Kirksey Architecture on Monday, November 28th for the unveiling of the City of Houston Traffic Operations LEED Gold certification ceremony, complete with a building tour to showcase the green features of the new building.

Located at 2200 Patterson Street, the City of Houston Traffic Operations building unveiled the LEED Gold plaque at the ceremony, which was free and open to the public.

Speakers in attendance included:

• The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor, City of Houston
• David MacLean, Chair, USGBC Texas Gulf Coast Region
• Dale Rudick, Director, Public Works & Engineering
• Jeffrey Weatherford, Deputy Director, Public Works & Engineering
• Richard Vella, Assistant Director, General Services Department
• Benito Guerrier, Executive Vice President, Kirksey Architecture

“I’m excited to see the list of City of Houston LEED certified buildings continue to grow,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are committed to green buildings because they are good for the environment and our community and save the City money. I thank all the partners involved in the design and construction of the Traffic Operations Center and those who helped us achieve a LEED Gold certification.”

The building, designed by Kirksey Architecture, is 23% more efficient than a typical code-compliant building. The goal of the new operations facility was to reflect the energy and movement like the traffic it orchestrates, while staying true to the City’s mission of energy-efficient green building.

Incorporation of recycled and re-used traffic elements throughout the space plays a continuous role in the architectural language and building design. In fact, the building incorporates the exact yellow color stripe and specifications on the side of the building as part of the design — the same yellow used by the City of Houston for the very roads Houstonians drive.

“Kirksey is proud that the City of Houston shares our sustainable vision,” said Benito Guerrier, AIA, Executive Vice President at Kirksey. “The entire project team came together to create a high-performing, healthy building that showcases traffic and transportation operations.”

More than 88% of construction waste was diverted from landfills due to smart re-use and recycling material. This was due to a successful Construction Waste Management Plan implemented by the contractor, Pepper-Lawson Construction, and creative design ideas from the Kirksey team. Using traffic elements from past to present, the Kirksey team incorporated recycled street sign posts to create an aesthetically pleasing architectural “screen” at the building entrance as a design element. Not only do the sign posts act as an architectural element, but they also serve as fully functioning guardrails and handrails for the docking area.

“We organized each respective space linearly along an exterior pathway/dock to create a continuous flow from one department to another,” said Trace Saenz, designer and associate at Kirksey. “The building is orientated parallel to Interstate 10, with its facade designed as an abstract reflection of the continuous movement of the freeway. This inspiration directly influenced the design in its use of color, pattern, and light.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks at the City of Houston Traffic Operations LEED Gold Ceremony.

• Energy Efficient & LEDs:
This building is 23% more efficient than a typical code-compliant building. Like the City’s traffic lights, all light fixtures in the building are LEDs, which have reduced interior lighting use by 45% and exterior lighting use by 75%.
• Occupancy Sensors:
Occupancy sensors within the building shut off lights when the offices and workrooms are not in use.
• Natural Daylight:
The building is lit by solatubes, which are cylindrical skylights that allow natural light to penetrate the space. Other rooms are lit by traditional skylights. The location of these solatubes and skylights was strategic by design, to ensure that 96% of regularly occupied areas have access to natural daylight.
• Local Materials / Recycled Content:
21% of the building material value was from products that were extracted and manufactured locally. The steel used in this building contributes to the total 22% recycled content.
• Waste Diverted from Landfills:
88% of construction waste was recycled and diverted away from landfills. This was owing to a successful Construction Waste Management Plan implemented by the contractor.
• Healthier Indoor Air Quality:
Low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, flooring and composite wood help ensure clean and healthy indoor air throughout the building. During construction, the contractor took measures to ensure that the HVAC system and other components would be kept clean and free of airborne contaminants such as dust and off-gassed chemicals.
• Stormwater Solutions:
100% of the stormwater that runs off the site is treated to improve its quality before it is discharged into the local stormwater infrastructure. 100%!
• Minimized Water Use for Landscape:
Landscaping for this project is largely unirrigated, and the irrigated portions use highly efficient controllers and drip irrigation. Water usage was minimized by 86%.
• Efficient Plumbing:
Low-flow plumbing fixtures reduced indoor water consumption by 39%, when compared to a typical building.