Skanska’s Capitol Tower First in Houston, One of Three in U.S. to Achieve LEED v4 Platinum Precertification

Skanska USA Commercial Development’s Capitol Tower is the first Houston development to be awarded LEED v4 Platinum precertification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and one of only three core and shell projects nationally to be pre-certified under the new standards. Capitol Tower, designed by architectural firm Gensler, is a 750,000-square foot Class A commercial office tower planned for the premiere downtown location of 808 Capitol Street.

LEED v4 is the latest version of the LEED green building program, considered the world’s premier benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Skanska’s Capitol Tower is one of only 122 beta projects worldwide using the new LEED v4 standards.

“Being among the first to achieve LEED v4 Platinum precertification is consistent with Skanska’s commitment to leadership in sustainable building practices,” said Michael Mair, executive vice president of Skanska USA Commercial Development in Houston. “Our focus is to provide value for our tenants by creating built environments that are healthy, productive and resource efficient.”

Capitol Tower’s sustainable features include:

·           a high-performance building façade that significantly reduces solar gain;
·           daylight harvesting technology that can significantly reduce energy usage;
·           90 percent access to daylight and views for tenants;
·           a garage with occupancy lighting sensors and a green rooftop;
·           alternative vehicle charging stations;
·           a rainwater collection system for reuse in landscape irrigation and water closets;
·           bicycle racks, lockers and showers to encourage commuting.

“Skanska made it clear from the beginning of the design process that they wanted this to be the most sustainable building in Houston,” said Gensler Principal Kristopher Stuart.  “We really pushed our team to move beyond anything we have done before to create a building that offers an exceptional work environment in a high-performance envelope that will dramatically reduce operating costs.  The design also places an extraordinary emphasis on public spaces and pedestrian experiences which we believe will greatly enhance and enrich Houston's urban fabric.”

Capitol Tower’s close proximity to the METRO rail line is another sustainable feature, offering access to public transportation just outside the front entrance. Project design plans include an expansive, two-level, open-air lobby that joins the building’s street level to the active pedestrian tunnel system, creating energy and a natural gathering place offering tenants and passersby views of the activity above and below ground.

Further illustrating Skanska’s commitment to sustainability, Mair added that Skanska’s 3009 Post Oak Boulevard development recently became the first commercial office building in Houston’s Galleria submarket to receive LEED Platinum certification. Its design features include a building dashboard that monitors building and tenant energy use levels; a mechanical system with an energy recovery wheel that improves cooling efficiency and saves money; and air sensors that regulate outdoor air intake for optimized ventilation and improved indoor air quality. Designed by Houston-based architecture firm Kirksey, 3009 Post Oak Boulevard was completed and sold in 2013 to Post Oak Building LLC.

Skanska USA is one of the leading development and construction companies in the country, consisting of four business units: Skanska USA Building, which specializes in building construction; Skanska Commercial Development, which develops commercial projects in selected U.S. markets; Skanska USA Civil, specialized in civil infrastructure; and Skanska Infrastructure Development, which develops public-private partnerships. Headquartered in New York, Skanska USA has approximately 8,300 employees and U.S. revenues in 2012 were $5.8 billion.

For further information, please contact:

Jessica Murray, Head of Communications – Project Development North America, Skanska USA, tel 404 946 7468, Jessica.Murray@Skanska.com
Cherri Carbonara, Carbonara Group, tel 713 524 8170, Cherri@CarbonaraGroup.com 

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development networks in the country, serving a broad range of industries including healthcare, education, sports, data centers, government, aviation, transportation, power, energy, water/wastewater and commercial. Headquartered in New York with 39 offices across the country, Skanska USA employs more than 8,300 employees committed to sustainable construction and development and an injury-free workplace. Skanska USA Building, which specializes in building construction, and Skanska USA Civil, which focuses on civil infrastructure, generated $5.8 billion in revenue in 2012, representing 30 percent of Skanska’s global construction revenue. Development units Skanska USA Commercial Development, which invests in and develops office and multi-family projects in select U.S. markets, and Skanska Infrastructure Development North America, which develops public-private partnerships, are both leaders in their selected markets. Global revenue of parent company Skanska AB, headquartered in Stockholm and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, totaled $19.5 billion in 2012.

Skanska USA Commercial Development, which launched in late 2008, aims to meet the demands in our markets by offering tenants high quality and value to support their business needs and develop environments where tenants can thrive. Our financing capacity allows us the flexibility to deliver space that is just right for our clients. We believe that creative, inviting and sustainable properties increase tenant satisfaction and lay the foundation for future growth. We are a diverse and energetic group of roughly 50 employees active in our home markets: Boston, Houston, Seattle and Washington DC with a corporate headquarters group in New York.

Gensler is a global design, planning, and strategic consulting firm networked across 46 locations on five continents. Consistently ranked by U.S. and international industry surveys as the leading architecture and interior design firm, Gensler leverages its deep resources and diverse expertise to develop design solutions for industries across the globe. For its longstanding commitment to the advancement of sustainable design, Gensler received the Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2005.

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