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Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC)

Houston, Texas

Gensler designed the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) headquarters to embody the not-for-profit’s sustainability mission and serve as a prototype for affordable, high-performing buildings and environmental stewardship. The LEED Platinum-certified, Net Zero Energy (NZE) building was built 10% below the construction cost market rate, and the performance results equate to 76% in energy reduction and net-positive energy (renewables), meaning more energy is produced than consumed.

Gensler’s team of Climate & Sustainability consultants designed a high-performance building envelope with smart sensor technology that is coupled with on-site solar and geothermal energy generation to meet all of the building’s heating, cooling, and electricity needs. The Center, completed in 2017, survived recent Houston area floods, and continued operations uninterrupted due to 100% on-site heating, cooling, ventilation, and power from a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) array.

Designed to be a living laboratory for ground-breaking research, the building showcases its cutting-edge technology as an interactive learning tool for the community. HARC’s headquarters is a model of thoughtful, sustainable design during the construction process, continually through building operation, as HARC implements its research programs in this facility.