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Designing a Smart Office Building

In the past, the cost of energy in Houston was low and Texas businesses were willing to put up with inefficient buildings and energy-wasting technologies. Incandescent lights blazed all night long in offices and air conditioning ran non-stop in buildings warmed by people and mechanical equipment, even when outside air could have provided cooling. As the cost of energy has increased and the stagnant economy has forced smart companies to look for ways to control expenses, smart office design has become a must for businesses that care about efficiency, employee comfort and sustainability. Smart office design systems and technologies can benefit existing offices that are being renovated as well as newly constructed buildings. What strategies are important in designing a smart office? High efficiency lighting If it’s a new building in Houston, then daylighting should be part of the design strategy. Why pay for light that the sun can provide for free? Daylighting requirements should […]

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Hines 717 Texas Earns LEED Platinum

From the Houston Business Journal: The office building at 717 Texas in downtown Houston has become the first Texas skyscraper to achieve LEED Platinum certification for existing buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 33-story tower owned by Hines was the first downtown office building to receive LEED certification from the council when it was awarded a Silver certification in early 2009.Houston-based Hines made additional sustainable upgrades to the 696,000-square-foot building and sought recertification as LEED Platinum. Hines was successful in earning the designation with the help of Houston architecture firm Kirksey.Improvements from the building’s previous Silver certification included an Energy Star rating boost; increased waste diversion rates; further reductions in potable water use inside the building; zero potable water use for exterior landscaping; and improvements in green cleaning products and practices. Read More Here at the Houston Business Journal.

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Is Houston A Contender for Amazon HQ2 Office?

After Amazon’s September announcement to construct its new headquarters, dubbed Amazon HQ2, cities and regions across the continent completed and submitted Phase I bids by the October 19 deadline. According to Amazon, the company received 238 proposals from states, regions and provinces throughout North America. With a plan to establish this second headquarters, Amazon offers one location in North America the opportunity to reap great benefits from its continued expansion. But does Houston have a realistic shot at being a contender for the new headquarters? Amazon’s Investment and Requirements Amazon plans to invest $5 billion to construct the new base and add as many as 50,000 new jobs. Amazon has stated a need for 500,000 plus SF by 2019 with a view to an additional 8,000,000 SF in the following years. The site also requires a metropolitan area with over 1 million residents and a stable, business-friendly culture. HQ2 also needs to be within 30 […]

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Houston’s Premier Office Buildings Still Outperforming the Market

A Down Market in Houston Houston’s commercial real estate market continues to be slightly down, reflecting a national trend. Industrial and retail properties have fared better than the office market which has been slow to rebound. At the same time, Houston’s premier office buildings are still outperforming the market. Houston’s commercial real estate market closely follows energy market trends. Because of this, low oil prices affect the city. Global oil futures continue to trade below $50 a barrel. As a result, energy companies make cutbacks like reducing their workforces. A decrease in the number of employees leads these companies to place commercial spaces on the market resulting in higher vacancy rates. At the same time, there are positive factors buoying Houston’s commercial real estate market: The completion of several large projects in the construction pipeline that had been put on hold due to the energy slump The creation of 45,300 jobs between May 2016 and May […]

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Best Marcus Buckingham Quotes from Global Leadership Summit 2017

“Leading is taking someone’s unique gifts and helping them contribute to the world.” “Excellence has its own pattern. You learn nothing about excellence by studying your failures.” “When you take bad and invert it, you just get ‘not bad.’ Good is something so much better.” “People on your team want two things: 1) Make me feel apart of something bigger than me. 2) Make me feel special.” “People say they want feedback, but they don’t. They want attention.” “I believe God blessed us with unique gifts and work is a space to discover those unique gifts and spread them to the world.” The GreenEfficient management team attended the Global Leadership Summit in August of 2017.  

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