LEED Platinum Dallas: HKS HQ
HKS moved into its new HQ in 2013. One Dallas Center (formerly Patriot Tower) at 350 North St. Paul St now houses 15 stories of luxury apartments, transportation giant Greyhound and HKS.
The architecture firm earned LEED Platinum sustainability with 83 points out of a possible 110 on the US Green Building Council’s scorecard. But the points HKS didn’t earn for its seven floors of office tell just as much of a story.
HKS principal and chief sustainability officer Kirk Teske (pictured) and his team looked beyond sustainability and worked to incorporate wellness into the environment.
Kirk said HKS decided to look beyond a 500-mile radius to source some materials (a criteria that earns LEED points) to find materials free of harmful chemicals and additives.
Kirk took special care to find carpets and fabrics free of PVC and stain repelling chemicals (like Scotchguard) that contain perfluorochemicals. An outdoor balcony on the second floor uses non-toxic TimberSIL wood (above) as opposed to typical treated wood. All the furniture is top-rated in the criteria of waste and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, human and ecosystem health, and social responsibility.
But while HKS didn’t earn the two points for regional materials, it earned points in the Material and Resources category by signing a 22-year lease, using certified wood and recycled content, and reducing construction waste.
The office earned big points for site sustainability, which measures site selection, community connectivity and sustainable transportation options.
All four DART rail lines stop at St. Paul Station, just a stone’s throw from One Dallas Center’s entrance. Around 30% of HKS employees use DART to commute to work. Employees who bike to work use showers and changing facilities in the basement.
Two HVAC systems blow purified, fresh air when CO2 levels get high. LED lighting uses only 0.6 watts/SF, which is around 40% below code. Lights harvest daylight and self-regulate to dim or brighten throughout the day. Low-flow plumbing reduces potable water usage by 40%.
When HKS selected the site in 2012, sustainability and wellness were on the forefront of the minds of the designers, Kirk tells us. Kirk and his team were a bit before their time on the movement towards healthy work environments, but they knew they were designing for the future—at least for the next 22 years.