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Pickard Chilton Awarded 2020 AIA Connecticut Sustainable Architecture Award for 609 Main

HOUSTON, TX — Pickard Chilton, an architecture studio known for its design of corporate headquarters and campuses, has received a 2020 AIA Connecticut Sustainable Architecture Award of Excellence in New Construction for 609 Main at Texas, a 48-story, 1,850,000-square-foot Class-A, next-generation office tower in Houston’s Central Business District. Winners will be honored at the AIA Connecticut Awards Gala, a virtual event to be held in November.

The Sustainable Architecture Awards is a newly established program by American Institute of Architects (AIA) Connecticut to recognize the efforts of architects who have developed and demonstrated ways to decrease greenhouse gases, reduce energy use and demand, and conserve water. Equally important is the creation of durable, comfortable, and healthy spaces. The award aims to raise public awareness of the current climate crisis and highlight leadership in the construction, maintenance, and operation of the built environment.

The 2020 award submissions were reviewed by a jury of professionals that included Melissa Kops AIA, LEED AP BD+C, LFA of Pirie Associates; Bruce Becker FAIA, AICP, LEED AP of Becker + Becker Associates; and Larry Jones, LEED Fellow of Atelier Ten USA. Judges praised the building as “an example of creating sustainable spaces in an urban environment. With initial drivers such as ample daylight, fresh air, and biophilic design, the fact that this large high-rise achieved an annual EUI of 31 kBtu/sf is commendable, illustrating that these goals can be achieved at any size.”

609 Main at Texas is considered to be one of the most ambitious LEED-CS Platinum-certified skyscrapers to be developed in downtown Houston. The high-performance enclosure maximizes daylight while reducing solar heat gain. A two-story penthouse features an electrochromic glass skylight. The double-height, hotel-style lobby offers a café, a conference facility, retail space, and a fitness center. Natural stone and wood, stainless steel accents, and interior landscaping attest to the lobby’s quality.

"609 Main incorporates superior technology defining it as a next-generation office tower. Drivers fundamental to its design were greater access to natural light, fresh air, and nature; and, the efficient stewardship of water, energy, and materials,” said Principal Jon Pickard, FAIA. “Innovative design in its enclosure, mechanical systems, energy efficiency, and water management, as well as conscientious material selection, allowed 609 Main to achieve its sustainability goals.”

The double-tiered green roof terrace reduces heat island effect, absorbs and filters storm water, and captures and stores rain for future use while providing a natural environment for tenants. In the lobby, a 28-foot tall green wall and water feature greet visitors while serving as passive cooling elements. In addition to energy-efficient lighting and harmonic-mitigating transformers, heat sensors adjust room temperature for the number of occupants. Efficient building systems include “smart” elevators and a sophisticated “Dual Path” underfloor HVAC system that allows for individual control and constant air purification.

The building’s tenant roster includes Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis, and United Airlines. 609 Main at Texas was previously recognized with an Out-of-State Award of Merit from the Connecticut Green Building Council and a Green Good Design Award from The Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture.
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