Minimal Energy Use

Large, mature trees are planted to shade the building. An underground parking garage reduces the building’s footprint and the amount of reflected heat that would have been generated by a street level lot.

The building is part of Austin Energy’s Downtown District cooling system, called a chiller, which is four blocks away, and generates ice overnight when electricity is cheaper and demand is lower. The ice is used to chill the water that cools the building, and a fan blows the cool air underground, into City Hall. When it is cold outside, the air diverted to the building is a result of the water in the underground pipes being heated. By the time it reaches our building, warm air is produced to heat the building.

The City purchases 50% of the building’s energy needs from renewable sources through Austin Energy’s Green Choice program, which relies primarily on wind-generated power.

Air conditioning condensate is recycled and used to water the 1,500 plantings on the premises. The plants are placed in a way to represent driving from West Texas to East Texas. The purpose of the plants on the balconies is to help offset the summer heat here in Texas, by keeping the building cool.