Ziegler Cooper Architects Gets the Gold

Ziegler Cooper Architects (ZCA), founded in 1977, creates design solutions that are inspirational, highly functional and sustainable. With a recent relocation, the new office is now located in the Bank of America Center in downtown, Houston, Texas and is the tower’s first tenant to receive the prestigious LEED CI v2009 (Commercial Interior Design and Construction) Gold certification, from the U.S. Green Building Council program. The 56-story Bank of America Center is certified LEED O-M: Existing Buildings v2008 Gold.

“With increasing energy consumption and scarce resources, architects have a vital role in creating sustainable, healthy environments. We recognize our responsibility to be good stewards of our natural resources — sustainability is foremost in our approach to design,” said Scott Ziegler, AIA, Senior Principal at Ziegler Cooper.

From the very beginning of the relocation process, Ziegler Cooper Architects sought ways in which to make their new office a sustainable place to work. Site selection was key to achieving LEED CI v2009 Gold, and the Bank of America Center is located in a densely populated area with close proximity to shops and restaurants. The building is also near the Metro bus stop and is adjacent to the future rail line of the Metro Rail extension, set to be completed in 2014. Both choices provide employees with alternative transportation options.

The interior office space took a multi-faceted approach to achieving LEED CI v2009 Gold certification, and the initial efforts were focused on construction management and materials utilized.

During construction, indoor air quality was monitored and low-emitting materials were chosen for paint, sealants, finishes, flooring and furniture systems to promote a healthier work environment for employees, as well as the construction team.

27% of the material used in the renovation of the office space was from recycled materials

  • More than 68% of the wood used was certified with the Forest Stewardship Council
  • 93% of all construction waste was diverted from the landfill and able to be recycled
  • 30% reduction of water waste through the use of low flow fixtures
  • 95% of the appliances specified and installed into the office were Energy Star qualified, which uses 10 to 50% less energy than standard appliances
  • Occupied space is 75% lit with day lighting and supplemented by low-level indirect ambient light
  • 100% user controlled lighting system with individual task lights (with occupancy sensors) at each workstation and occupancy sensors in meeting rooms and closed offices
  • Each employee is provided with a recycling bin and designated recycling areas are centrally located in the café

From managing waste during demolition and construction, the selection of low-emitting finishes and regional materials, an emphasis on incorporating natural daylight and energy performance equipment, Ziegler Cooper Architects was dedicated to designing an aesthetically inspirational space that distinctly reflected their ongoing commitment to the environment through sustainable design. ZCA moved to its workplace in the Bank of America Center in December 2012 and received LEED CI v2009 Gold certification in October 2013.