General Services Department

Real Estate, Design and Construction Division - Sustainability

Green Building
LEED-certified buildings

On June 23, 2004, City Council adopted the Green Building Resolution, which set a target of Silver level LEED certification for new construction, replacement facilities and major renovations of city of Houston-owned buildings and facilities with more than 10,000 square feet of occupied space. The General Services Department is implementing this policy in its management of projects in the City's Capital Improvement Plan.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating SystemTis a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Members of the U.S. Green Building Council, representing all segments of the building industry, developed LEEDT and continue to contribute to its evolution. LEED provides a complete framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals. Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEEDT emphasizes state of the art strategies for:

  • sustainable site development
  • water savings
  • energy efficiency
  • materials selection
  • indoor environmental quality

LEED recognizes achievements and promotes expertise in green building through a comprehensive system offering project certification, professional accreditation, training and practical resources.

Energy Performance Retrofits
ESCO contracts
Partnerships with Siemens and Schneider

The City of Houston has partnered with Energy Service companies, Siemens and Schneider, to employ a wide array of cost-effective measures to achieve energy savings. These measures often include the following: high efficiency lighting, high efficiency heating and air conditioning, efficient motors and variable speed drives, and centralized energy management systems. During the life of the contract, the City receives the benefit of reduced maintenance costs, in addition to reduced energy costs.

 Energy service companies (ESCOs) develop, install, and fund projects designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce operation and maintenance (O&M) costs for their customers' facilities. ESCOs offer energy efficiency improvements by performance-based contracting.

(U.S. Department of Energy, 2011)

Energy Performance Benchmarking
Energy Star Portfolio Manager (started in '11)
Better Buildings Initiative (2011)

On February 3rd, 2011, President Obama announced the Better Buildings Initiative as part of his Administration's vision for winning the future by catalyzing a homegrown, clean energy economy in the United States. The Better Buildings Initiative set a national target of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings by 20% by 2020.

The City of Houston has made a commitment to benchmark energy performance for all City owned facilities— which accounts for 300+ buildings. The goal for the City of Houston is to gain recognition for city-wide improvement on energy performance.

Energy Star Portfolio Manager is an interactive energy management tool that tracks energy and water consumption across entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. Managing properties, Portfolio Manager can help set investment priorities, identify under-performing buildings, verify efficiency improvements, and receive EPA recognition for superior energy performance.

(EPA: EnergyStar Portfolio Manager, 2011)

  • Eligible City buildings to receive a rating. pdf
  • Energy Star Label Building Profiles //coming soon!