Top 10 States 2015: Seaholm Power Plant Redevelopment | U.S. Green Building Council
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Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED

The 2015 Top 10 States list honors transformative efforts at the state level to create healthier, more energy- and water-efficient places to live, learn, work and play. In 2015 alone, 1,633 projects were certified in the United States—equivalent to an incredible 275 million square feet. 

In this series, we spotlight the standout LEED-certified projects that contributed to the 2015 Top 10 rankings. Join us in celebrating some of the best examples of green building design, construction and operation. 

#8: Texas 

Seaholm Power Plant Redevelopment

The Seaholm Power Plant Redevelopment, a historic landmark in Austin, Texas, was a former brownfield site that became an adaptive reuse project. After closing in 1989, the long-dormant power plant (originally built in the 1950s) offered a unique opportunity to preserve a key piece of Austin's past and unite it with its future. 

The LEED Gold Seaholm Power Plant is envisioned as a future urban oasis on the Southwestern edge of downtown Austin. This $130 million mixed-use redevelopment includes a completed two-story, 67,000-square-foot retail and office building surrounding a one-acre public plaza. A 30-story, 615,000-square-foot residential tower containing 280 high-rise condos is expected to be completed this coming spring. 

Despite the challenges of redeveloping a 60-year-old power plant, much of the original structure was reused or preserved. Over 10 percent of the building materials included recycled content, 20 percent of building materials were regionally sourced and energy use was reduced by nearly 20 percent. Additionally, rainwater harvesting was incorporated into the design. 

State snapshot

Texas ranks eighth on the 2015 Top 10 States list, improving its rating from No. 10 in 2012. Texas boasts the second highest number of certified projects in 2015 (237 projects total) and the second largest area of certified space, at 52.45 million square feet. Both Houston and Dallas sit in the top 10 U.S. cities with the most amount of LEED-certified space, with over 18.4 million and 10.1 million square feet, respectively. 

Between 2015 and 2018, green building is projected to add $107.13 billion to the Texas GDP, as well as over 1.2 million jobs and $71.79 billion in labor earnings, according to USGBC’s Green Economic Impact Study, conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton. The study also anticipates that LEED alone will account for $21.39 billion of the state’s GDP growth, with 244,000 jobs and $14.43 billion in labor earnings. 

Other standout projects include:

  • The double LEED Platinum Treehouse Memorial City, a 14,700-square-foot building in Houston that achieved LEED Platinum (BD+C Core and Shell) with 95 points, the highest credit point total in Texas and the second highest in the United States for this rating system. It’s also certified LEED Platinum (ID+C: Commercial Interiors).
  • Dallas’s LEED Gold New Parkland Hospital building, part of a new 2.8 million-square-foot Parkland campus designed to meet the ever-changing needs of Dallas County—one of the largest, fastest-growing regions in the United States.
  • The LEED Silver Riverview Apartments in Austin, which achieved a 30 percent reduction in baseline indoor water use.
  • Southern Methodist University’s LEED Silver Moody Coliseum renovation and expansion.

Learn more about the top 10 states in 2015