- The project protects floodplain functions.
- The degraded site was redeveloped.
- Previously disturbed ecological conditions were restored.
- Erosion control strategies include geotextiles for stabilization, plants selected for root stability and retaining walls placed to prevent water run-off.
- Healthy soils were conserved, and soils were amended.
- 500 native trees were added to reforest areas.
- Loose planting was used to encourage habitat restoration.
- 10 acres utilize no-maintenance planting.
- 365 trees were saved.
- Water usage was reduced by 50%.
- Trees have the potential for intercepting 250,000 gallons of water which are equivalent to the water usage for 250 American residents for one day.*
- Water quality improved while turbidity decreased on-site.
- The project has a detention requirement and the land mitigation creates a site responsive to major floods.
Carbon, Energy + Air
- Regional materials were used.
- The project reduced light pollution.
- Tree canopies reduce temperatures by up to 10 degrees in shady spots.
- The trees sequester 60,000 pounds of carbon annually, which offset 7.2 cars per year.**
- Passive cooling strategies include tree planting for canopy shade and water features.
- Air quality is improved via carbon sequestration through planting.
- Maintenance cost savings resulted from planting strategy and land mitigation.
- Waste was reduced during construction.
- Sustainably manufactured materials were used.
- Organic material was recycled.
- The project provides outdoor space for employees to walk, congregate, and relax.
- The outdoor space has wireless connectivity for outdoor work options and social connectivity.
- The project provides optimal accessibility, safety, and wayfinding.
- The project is LEED registered.
* 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)
On this 94-acre campus, carefully detailed outdoor spaces artfully manage the site’s stormwater and create a serene setting for employees and visitors. This design renovation consolidates disparate facilities from across the Houston metropolitan area into a new world headquarters on the site of an existing manufacturing and shipping facility. OJB worked closely with the architect to ensure that the overall design was environmentally responsible, preserved the site’s unique character, and created a home for the many programmatic needs of the people working there.
New buildings are located towards the interior of the site, preserving forest canopy along the perimeter and insulating personnel from manufacturing operations. Large interior stands of trees were preserved and more than 500 new trees were planted to give scale, shade, and separation. OJB created two interconnected lakes at the center of campus, which serve as amenity and focal point for the campus while managing runoff. Adjacent to the lake, wetland systems planted extensively with native vegetation provide additional detention and create wildlife habitat.
Artfully arranged around the buildings, waterways, and islands, a series of compatible outdoor use areas – gravel terraces, hardwood decks, trellis-shaded walkways – invite users out into the landscape to relax, play, and socialize. Throughout the campus, the sweeping elliptical lines of the lake are echoed in the design of water features, walkways, decks, and planting beds.
Location: Houston, TX
Team: Gensler, Ward, Getz & Associates, LLP, Haynes Whaley Associates, Inc., Wylie Consulting Engineers
Awards: ASLA Texas Chapter Merit Award
Photo Credit: Paul Hester, Ryan Gobuty