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Bank of America Tower (formerly Capitol Tower)

Visionary build charts new frontier in sustainability

Project Facts

Location Houston, Texas
Owner Skanska Commercial Development
Size 700,000 SF
Cost $185 million
Status Completed 2019
Capacity 1,360 spaces
Certifications LEED Platinum


The concrete mix developed for this building introduced a new sustainable material to the industry—one that reduces carbon footprint without compromising integrity. It has since been adopted by numerous other projects, contributing to the advancement of sustainable construction practices. Bank of America Tower was the first in the U.S. to achieve LEED v4 Platinum Core and Shell Certification, and the highest-rated in the world at the time of its certification.

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About the project

Bank of America Tower stands as a beacon of sustainable innovation, not just in the United States but on a global scale. Walter P Moore provided structural, civil, traffic engineering, and parking consulting services for this new high-rise office building in Downtown Houston. The project includes 24 floors of office space above a new 10-story podium parking garage. The exterior curtain wall glass façade is accented by LED-lined lightboxes, and an underground tunnel includes a two-level plaza filled with restaurants, retail, and amenities with an inviting common area.

The development employed a strategy of aggressive cement minimization, which led to a projected 19% reduction in Global Warming Potential and a 12% reduction in acidification. Additional sustainable features include daylight harvesting technology, a 40 percent parking reduction, tenant metering, alternative vehicle charging stations, and a rainwater collecting system.

The cornerstone of Bank of America Tower’s sustainability strategy was the adoption of the Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBLCA) to optimize the environmental impact, with a particular focus on the structural system. This ushered in a significant shift in how structural and enclosure assemblies were evaluated, with a primary goal of reducing embodied carbon. Sustainability considerations were seamlessly integrated into both the design and construction phases, along with cost and schedule considerations.

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Sustainability focus

Sustainability remained a key focus during construction, with constant communication and collaboration between the design and construction teams. Innovative techniques, such as jump forming for concrete core walls, were employed to accelerate construction while ensuring that sustainability goals were not compromised. The initial mix for jump forming had the potential to substantially increase embodied carbon, but through collaboration and refinement, an optimal solution was achieved, enabling a lower carbon concrete mix for the walls.

Bank of America Tower has not only achieved its sustainability objectives but has also blazed a trail for the construction industry. Its pioneering use of innovative concrete framing practices has set a new standard for sustainable construction.