Transportation

City Of Houston Building Receives Special Designation For ‘Going Green’

Houston calls itself the “Energy Capital of the World.” But the focus now is on how to use less of it.

Houston’s Traffic Operations Center near Shepherd and Interstate-10 is where the city monitors problems on the streets, things like broken traffic lights.

It opened a little over a year ago, and it now has a major designation. It’s the latest Houston building to be awarded gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

To get that certification, the building was scored on energy efficiency. It features LED lights, along with skylights. Builders also used environmentally-friendly paints and finishes.

Outside there’s a stormwater treatment system along with bike racks for employees who cycle to work.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says the building is 23 percent more efficient than the usual code-compliant building.

“And so all of those things add up in dollars and cents,” says Turner. “And the more buildings that we can have, I think the more cost savings we will have. And certainly the environment will be much cleaner.”

The City of Houston adopted LEED certification building standards in 2004. Since that time, over 20 city buildings have received LEED designation. Turner says the city is now hoping to get the top honor for a building, and that’s platinum certification.

“We have a number of multi-service centers that we’re looking at that are on the agenda,” adds Turner. “There are a number of libraries, fire stations. And those are the ones that are on the list right now.”

Other city buildings that that have received LEED certification include the Houston Permitting Center, the renovated Oak Forest Library, and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department headquarters. 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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