When construction of Hess Tower began in early 2008 it was still known as Discovery Tower. Named after Discovery Green, the famous Houston landmark the tower is located directly in front of. The name later changed in 2010 when the Hess Corporation leased all 29 stories of the LEED Gold Certified skyscraper.
Standing at 490 feet, the tower is unusually tall for a 29 story building. Although not so unusual when one considers the miniature wind farm located on the roof. The 10 wind turbines offer the perfect finishing touch on what the designers hope would be another large step forward towards making Houston a symbol of sustainability.
29 story office building
Approximately 850,000 sf
1 year on site, beginning June 2010 and finishing July 2011
Because Marek is a specialty contractor, 100% of our scope was self-performed.
Designed by Gensler, a worldwide architecture firm headquartered in San Francisco, the tower’s primary mission was not an easy one. Trammell Crow Company, the tower’s developer, aimed to create a building that would serve as a functional yet sustainable place of business while simultaneously adding aesthetic beauty to the surrounding area in order to attract both business and tourism. This goal would be achieved in groundbreaking fashion. Hess Tower is the first of its kind in more than one category. The 10 wind turbines located on the roof make it the first building in Houston to incorporate wind power into its design. Additionally, the building is the first structure built in Houston’s Central Business District to achieve a LEED Gold certification. As with any LEED project, the responsibility of meeting requirements rested not just on the owner and general contractor but on the shoulders of all parties involved. Due to the size of our contract, Marek was able to play a large role in the certification process.
With three large interior contracts for drywall, acoustical ceilings, and paint, along with other inevitable work additions, we were able to add substantial contributions to the LEED efforts. These contributions meant ensuring that the materials used in our drywall, ceiling, and painting operations were locally manufactured and recycled.
Our use of recycled materials was extensive, with some materials reaching levels of up to 82% post consumer recycled content.
Of the many areas of interior construction that Marek Brothers now specializes in, one of the quickest growing and most popular is our Mecho Shades division. This was the perfect project in which to incorporate Mecho Shade systems due to the building’s extensive use of natural lighting and shading to cut energy costs.
While features like the wind turbines, efficient air conditioning systems, and the tower’s “Green” roof may attract media attention, it was the efforts of companies like Marek Brothers that truly made this building a landmark of sustainability. Without efficient and sustainable building practices, even the most self sufficient building could not make up for the resources wasted during construction.