The Allen Center

Sustainability Statistics

LEED Certification


  • The historic context of the site was considered, as the project redeveloped a degraded site.
  • A series of erosion control strategies were implemented, including geotextiles to stabilize the soils, plants for root stability and retaining walls to divert the water.


  • The native prairie and wetland prairie seed mixes were sourced from a local supplier and used to establish the bioswale/retention ecosystem.
  • 15 trees were transplanted on-site.
  • 32 trees were saved.
  • 319 new trees were planted.
  • Fertilizer and pesticides were minimized.
  • Mycorrhizal fungi were implemented in the soil mix to provide increased water and nutrient absorption for the planting. In turn, the planting provides the fungi with necessary carbohydrates.
  • Plants are allowed to go from seed to flower life.
  • Annual planting was avoided.
  • Low water usage planting was used on-site.


  • Stormwater features function as amenities, through the use of bio-retention and a rain garden.
  • Green roofs are installed to reduce the heat island effect, absorb stormwater, and provide enjoyment to the users.
  • Trees have the potential for intercepting 183,000 gallons of water which are equivalent to the water usage for 183 American residents for one day.*
  • 41 percent of the site has permeable surfaces.

Carbon, Energy + Air

  • The project uses planting to minimize building energy use.
  • The project uses regional materials.
  • The trees sequester 43,920 pounds of carbon annually, which offset 5.2 cars per year.**


  • The project provides optimum site accessibility, safety, and wayfinding.
  • The project redevelops a series of public amenities within a marginalized community in Cincinnati. The project injected $300 million into a campus that in many ways is public, helping to make the community safer and more beautiful.
  • The project was a catalyst for growth.
  • Sustainable awareness and education are promoted on-site through educational programs.  

* 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)

The Allen Center

Formerly the site of the West End Baseball Park during the early 20th Century, the historic area that became the Allen Center was originally considered to be an eastern portion of the Fourth Ward. When Interstate 45 opened in the 1950’s, it separated the eastern portion from the rest of the Fourth Ward; that portion became the Allen Center and the towers were among the tallest buildings in Downtown Houston.

The $48.5 million complete renovation transforms the 3 class A towers on the existing 7-acre site into office spaces with a vibrant public green space designed by OJB. This new courtyard/central plaza design removes a second-level skybridge and the berm under it, transforming the area into a one acre, publicly-accessible lawn that will sit between One and Two Allen Center. The green space includes a mix of features and amenities that include activity areas for events, art installations and performances as well as retail, terraces, a bar and a dining terrace.

The redevelopment of the Allen Center contributes to the revitalization of the downtown business district, creating a new place to work, play and unwind. Construction began in June 2016 and the downtown space opened in Fall 2017.

Photos: Courtesy of Brookfield

Location: Houston, TX

Morrison Dilworth + Walls, D.E. Harvey Builders