Houston: A Green Building Leader

Houston boasts 14 LEED-certified buildings, including Texas’s first LEED-Platinum skyscraper, 717 Texas. LEED-Platinum is the highest-ranking a U.S. building can receive under the commonly-used US Green Building Council system. ura Spanjian, Sustainability Director for the City of Houston, spoke on today’s session on Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings. Here’s some more information on some of the interesting work Houston is doing right now to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. 

View Laura's presentation at the C40 Cities Mayors Summit here .

C40 member city Houston is a green building leader, placing first in the state of Texas, and seventh nationally, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 green buildings ranking of American cities
 
At the C40 Cities Mayors Summit in Sao Paulo, Laura Spanjian, Sustainability Director for the City of Houston, and our Houston City Director Brian Yeoman will share Houston’s experiences, as panelist and participant, respectively, during the session on Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings.
 
“Our strong partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative has been instrumental in helping Houston create cutting-edge and effective energy efficiency initiatives, putting Houston on the map as a green leader,” said Spanjian.
 
Houston is home to an ambitious energy efficiency retrofit project involving the city’s portfolio of 271 municipal buildings; the project will reduce overall energy use by more than 30 percent, and save millions of dollars per year in utility and maintenance costs. Developed with CCI by former Mayor Bill White in 2007, the project has continued with the same commitment to sustainability by current Mayor Annise Parker.
 
By demonstrating the economic benefit of large-scale building retrofits, Houston’s efforts have created a model that can be replicated by other large cities around the world.  Importantly, its energy efficiency push extends to the private sector, where it is also driving green building leadership. Mayor Parker’s goal is for Houston to rank number one in the country for LEED and Energy Star-rated buildings. To this end, she has launched the Houston Green Office Challenge that provides resources, tools and financial incentives to “green” office buildings and to encourage the pursuit of LEED and Energy Star certification. To date, almost 300 property owners, managers and tenants are participating.
 
"Houston was recently named "City of the Year" by Fast Company Magazine:
 http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/155/o-pioneers.html
 
Click here to learn more about the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program.