All lined up and ready to pour.
That was the scene over the weekend as cement trunks stood in several rows along Capitol and Rusk at the site of the new Capitol Tower skyscraper in downtown Houston. Skanska USA and its concrete subcontractor, Baker Concrete Construction, filled the block-long site with 9,300 cubic yards of concrete and 2.4 million pounds of rebar.
Sixty percent of the cement material included fly ash, a safe, recycled industrial product that would have gone to a landfill, thus helping the 35-story skyscraper achieve LEED Platinum v4 precertification (one of only three such buildings in the nation). "This method saves more than 1 million pounds of CO2, the equivalent emissions associated with driving a car 1.2 million miles," Skanska officials said in a press release.
Other features of the building, designed by Gensler, include a high-performance curtain wall system to achieve energy efficiency while providing panoramic views of downtown Houston through 10-foot floor-to-ceiling glass and a light-filled lobby that integrates the street and tunnel levels.
However, Skanska officials said the tower will not rise until a substantial portion of the building is leased. Officials declined to say whether any tenants have been signed or disclose how much of the building must be leased before high-rise construction begins.
"We are actively pursuing potential tenants and hope to have a prelease soon to allow us to continue vertical construction of the tower," said Michael Mair, executive vice president and regional manager of Skanska USA Commercial Development in Houston.
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