Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Sustainability Statistics

LEED PLATINUM

Land 

  • Discovery Green Park sparked development in this area of downtown Houston. The site was a vacant downtown city block before the construction of the tower.  The project became an extension of the park, creating a smooth transition between the plaza, tower, and park.

Planting 

  • 35 trees were planted, including allee elm, and highrise live oak.
  • 12 heritage oak trees were saved along the street.
  • The project avoids annual planting, offering cost savings through reduced maintenance and material needs.
  • Asian jasmine and giant liriope were planted for their low-water needs.  

Water 

  • There was a 15% increase in permeable surfaces on-site from planting.
  • The site design mitigates runoff.
  • A green roof, located on the 3rd floor was installed to reduce the heat island effect, absorb stormwater, provide visual enjoyment to the users, and act as a passive filter for airborne particulate matter.
  • Water is reused for landscape irrigation. A 5,000-gallon cistern collects water on-site.
  • Trees have the potential for intercepting 23,500 gallons of water which are equivalent to the water usage for 235 American residents for one day.*

Carbon, Energy + Air 

  • The project uses regional materials.
  • Two water features located on the central axis of the plaza were installed to define a central access point and cool the outdoor space. With a dense tree canopy above and water features at ground level, the entry plaza can be 10 degrees cooler than the adjacent streetscape.
  • Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was minimized through designated smoke-free zones and prohibited smoking on site.
  • The trees sequester 5,640 pounds of carbon annually.**

Economics 

  • The tower was 100-percent leased prior to completion.
  • Maintenance savings were achieved by considering the number of maintenance visits required, the irrigation system, plant material selection, hardscape materials, and fountain systems.  

Social 

  • The project becomes an extension of the park, creating a smooth transition between the landscape and the tower. The outdoor plaza is marketed as an amenity for the building’s occupants.
  • The tree planting on the streetscape and curvature of the road slows down vehicular traffic, providing optimal site accessibility and safety by Hess Tower.

* The tree average for water interception is 500 gallons. American’s use an average of 100 gallons of water per day (EPA’s water trivia facts) 

**120 pounds of CO2 per tree annually (This number is based on an average from the National Tree Benefits Calculator) One car produces an average of 8,320 pounds of CO2 per year. (The Code of Federal Regulations - 40 CFR 600.113)

Discovery Plaza Hess Tower

Hess Tower is located on a 1.2-acre city block adjacent to Discovery Green, a downtown park in Houston, TX. The outdoor spaces include a tower plaza, auto court, bustle roof garden, and perimeter streetscape for each of the tower blocks. The project is certified LEED Platinum. The plaza design is one of simplicity and order. A white stone carpet that includes a water feature leads tenants and visitors to the entry lobby. The plaza includes a series of raised planters at seat height that mound gently to accommodate small scale flowering trees. A dining terrace located at the far end includes a raised seating area and small water feature. Located adjacent to the entry lobby the auto court allows for easy access to the tower.

Location: Houston, TX

Team: Gensler