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HOUSTON-Three of the four buildings in the 3.7-million-sf Houston Center have been awarded EPA Energy Stars. The complex’s fourth building, Houston Center 5, is still under construction.

Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate Equities, owner of Houston Center 1, 2 and 4 was among 39 organizations honored this year. The award recognizes organizations demonstrating environmental leadership.

Frank Staats, Crescent vice president and Houston Center’s general manager, tells GlobeSt.com that energy-efficient innovations have been part of the project since the late 1980s. The effort has included continuous lighting retrofits to reduce the number of bulbs without affecting lighting quality. The engineering team right now is in the process of introducing still newer and more efficient lighting fixtures. The complex’s 100 air handler unit motors were changed out from 15 horsepower to 10. Special electrical equipment was installed in each building’s vault. Energy management systems were updated several times and elevators switched from continuously running generators to solid-state drives. The lighting retrofits alone are estimated to have saved about $3.5 million since 1987.

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