Mayor Sylvester Turner and City officials joined Kirksey Architecture on Monday, November 28th for the unveiling of the City of Houston Traffic Operations LEED Gold certification ceremony, complete with a building tour to showcase the green features of the new building.
Located at 2200 Patterson Street, the City of Houston Traffic Operations building unveiled the LEED Gold plaque at the ceremony, which was free and open to the public.
Speakers in attendance included:
· The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor, City of Houston
· David MacLean, Chair, USGBC Texas Gulf Coast Region
· Dale Rudick, Director, Public Works & Engineering
· Jeffrey Weatherford, Deputy Director, Public Works & Engineering
· Richard Vella, Assistant Director, General Services Department
· Benito Guerrier, Executive Vice President, Kirksey Architecture
“I’m excited to see the list of City of Houston LEED certified buildings continue to grow,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are committed to green buildings because they are good for the environment and our community and save the City money. I thank all the partners involved in the design and construction of the Traffic Operations Center and those who helped us achieve a LEED Gold certification.”
The building, designed by Kirksey Architecture, is 23% more efficient than a typical code-compliant building. The goal of the new operations facility was to reflect the energy and movement like the traffic it orchestrates, while staying true to the City’s mission of energy-efficient green building.
Incorporation of recycled and re-used traffic elements throughout the space plays a continuous role in the architectural language and building design. In fact, the building incorporates the exact yellow color stripe and specifications on the side of the building as part of the design — the same yellow used by the City of Houston for the very roads Houstonians drive.
“Kirksey is proud that the City of Houston shares our sustainable vision,” said Benito Guerrier, AIA, Executive Vice President at Kirksey. “The entire project team came together to create a high-performing, healthy building that showcases traffic and transportation operations.”
More than 88% of construction waste was diverted from landfills due to smart re-use and recycling material. This was due to a successful Construction Waste Management Plan implemented by the contractor, Pepper-Lawson Construction, and creative design ideas from the Kirksey team. Using traffic elements from past to present, the Kirksey team incorporated recycled street sign posts to create an aesthetically pleasing architectural “screen” at the building entrance as a design element. Not only do the sign posts act as an architectural element, but they also serve as fully functioning guardrails and handrails for the docking area.
“We organized each respective space linearly along an exterior pathway/dock to create a continuous flow from one department to another,” said Trace Saenz, designer and associate at Kirksey. “The building is orientated parallel to Interstate 10, with its facade designed as an abstract reflection of the continuous movement of the freeway. This inspiration directly influenced the design in its use of color, pattern, and light.”