MIDLAND, MI - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced that the new Houston Dow Center (HDC), which opened in October 2008, has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) GOLD level certification. The HDC is one of three LEED GOLD commercial interiors projects in Houston and the seventh in Texas to achieve this sought-after certification.
In addition to the original goal of choosing a LEED certifiable building and refurbishing five floors, the Facilities Management Technology Center set forth an aggressive goal to achieve LEED certification, which was done by closely following stringent LEED requirements and Dow office facility standards. This accomplishment was made possible by the efforts of Dow’s Lab and Office Facility Management (LOFM) team, who collaborated closely with building owner Core Real Estate, Yost Grube Hall Architecture, LEED consulting firm Apollo BBC, DE Harvey Builders, furniture provider Haworth Inc. and facilities management firm CBRE.
Renovation highlights include: each piece of construction material was comprised of at least 90 percent recycled materials; reusable plastic crates – no cardboard boxes – were used to move all 1,200 employees; all appliances are Energy Star® rated; and kitchen areas accommodate 150 people each, eliminating the need for small refrigerators in work areas.
These changes, along with many others such as the addition of low-flow toilets and faucets with water sensors, have helped to reduce water consumption by over 70 percent from the previous building.
LEED certification is an internationally recognized, green building certification system with four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. It provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies that improve energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions (reductions), indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.