Downtown Houston’s Bank of America Tower was recently certified LEED® Version 4 (V4) Platinum for Core and Shell by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The building is the first in the United States to earn the certification, and the highest scoring in the world. The project team included Skanska, developer and general contractor; Gensler, architect; Walter P Moore, structural, civil, parking, and traffic engineer; and OJB, landscape architect.
Formerly Capitol Tower, Bank of America Tower is a 35-story, 775,000-RSF AA class office building. A key feature is the triple-height lobby/public indoor plaza that contains an expansive chef-driven food court, a social stair for gathering and watching live performances, and connects five existing below-grade tunnel connections from adjacent buildings. Atop the 1,360-car parking garage, a 12th-floor landscaped roof garden provides a convenient natural respite for tenants and features native plantings that help manage storm water runoff.
V4 is the most stringent LEED version to date and Platinum is the highest level of green building certification offered by the USGBC. Bank of America Tower was one of 100 projects selected for the pilot program of LEED Version 4, and was the only LEED v4 Beta project to attempt the Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBCLA) credit, which Walter P Moore led. The WBLCA allowed the team to identify the combinations of materials that made the most significant contributions to environmental impacts and develop reduction strategies accordingly. Based on these studies, the team developed a strategy of aggressive cement minimization, which led to a projected 19% reduction in Global Warming Potential and a 12% reduction in acidification.
Additional sustainable features include daylight harvesting technology, a 40 percent parking reduction, tenant metering, alternative vehicle charging stations, and a rainwater collecting façade system.