Apr 25, 2023 - Real Estate

1550 on the Green adds rooftop trees

Rooftop trees on the 1550 on the Green. Photo: Courtesy of Skanska USA

Real estate developer Skanska USA's 1550 on the Green project — which is planned to be one of the greenest office spaces in Houston — just finished installing some of its landscape and sustainable features.

Catch up quick: The 28-story tower at 1550 Lamar St., near Discovery Green, is expected to be completed later this year and is being built to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification — similar to Skanska's Bank of America Tower, which opened in 2019.

The latest: The company planted 55 large trees along with mostly Texas-native plants on more than 16,000 square feet of rooftop terrace.

Plus: The skyscraper has a 48,000-gallon rainwater-collection system in the basement. That system will both irrigate the landscaping and be used to flush water through the building, according to Matt Damborsky, Skanska executive vice president.

  • The rainwater-collection system will reduce outdoor water usage by 100% and indoor water usage by 56.43% each month, per Skanska.
  • The building has also used a concrete mix that has reduced the embodied carbon of the building by about 34%, Damborsky says.

What they're saying: "Our firm is hyperfocused on lowering our carbon footprint," Damborsky tells Axios.

  • "We're trying to be a leader in the industry and help with pushing this reduction in embodied carbon — not just in Houston but nationally and globally."

Of note: Platinum is the highest LEED certification. Several Houston buildings have some sort of LEED certification, including POST Houston, the Capital One Plaza and the Fulbright Tower.

Between the lines: Houston City Council granted Skanska nearly $1 million in property tax breaks over 10 years for the green building design in the downtown office, per the Houston Chronicle.

  • Green buildings like the 1550 on the Green on average have a 20% lower maintenance cost compared to typical commercial buildings, per Skanska.

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