Bank of America Tower
Owner: Beacon Capital Partners LLC
Developer: Skanska USA Commercial Development
Lead Design Firm: Gensler
General Contractor: Skanska USA Building
Civil/Structural Engineer: Walter P Moore
MEP Engineer: Wylie Consulting Engineers
Architect: Michael Hsu Office of Architecture
Landscape Architect: OJB Landscape Architecture
Downtown Houston’s newest high-rise, the 35-story Bank of America Tower, was constructed with the goal of attaining an elite designation for green commercial design.
The 780,000-sq-ft Class A office tower was designated as a beta project for the new LEED v4 certification, designed to reduce the environmental footprint and encourage optimal energy and water use. In doing so, the tower became one of only three projects of its kind in the world to receive this designation.
One of the tower’s most significant elements is a 24,000-sq-ft green roof, designed to reduce the urban heat island effect in downtown Houston while providing wellness and social activities for the building’s tenants. A hydro crane hoisted more than 2,000 cu yd of dirt to fill in the green roof prior to planting.
Other green amenities include a 50,000-gallon rainwater collection system for reuse in landscape irrigation and restrooms, daylight access for 90% of tenants and a high-performance facade that reflects solar heat.
Working in downtown Houston with limited space presented challenges for crane placement, which was key to delivering the project on time. The project team was able to carefully place three cranes within the building, including one self-climbing crane, and top out the structure on schedule.
The project team hung more than 5,000 individual curtain wall units for the tower, working at a pace of completing one floor each week. Each unit was tagged with a specific number and tracked so it could be located at any point. The curtain wall, which increased shading while using less material, was another component of the building’s sustainable energy plan.