Cemex goes green for new US headquarters

Cemex goes green for new US headquarters
Published: 09 June 2008

Cemex Inc, the nation’s largest cement and ready-mix company, announced that it has signed a lease for its US headquarters in a building that will be constructed as one of the few green buildings in Houston, further showcasing its commitment to the environment through sustainable development practices.

"Clean air, water and sound environmental management applications such as green building practices are fundamentals to our success as a company," said Gilberto Perez, president of Cemex USA. "Locating our US headquarters in an office built upon sustainable ecological and environmental principles strengthens our company and preserves the quality of life for present and future generations."

According to the US Green Building Council’s Houston chapter, there are currently less than 15 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings in the area. The new Cemex USA headquarters will be the largest green building of its kind in Houston, and Cemex’s concrete will help make it green. Much of the concrete will reflect more of the sun’s energy during the day and does not radiate as much stored heat at night. This reduces the urban heat island effect, as it decreases the building’s energy usage and the demand on air conditioning systems, especially in the summertime. In addition, the Cemex concrete mixes also employ recycled alternative materials, such as fly ash. Instead of land-filling fly ash, a byproduct of coal burned at power plants, using it in concrete improves the workability of the concrete, reduces the amount of water needed, and makes it a stronger concrete.

"Cemex continuously looks for ways to reduce its footprint and produce environmentally friendly products," said Andy Miller, Cemex USA’s executive vice president of human resources. "We are excited to provide our Houston employees a healthy and safe workplace that will also be green."

Green buildings often incorporate the most efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, use state-of-the-art lighting and optimise daylight, use recycled content for outside and interior construction, conserve energy and water, reduce waste sent to landfills, and are designed to be healthy work environments for their occupants. The average LEED certified building uses 32 per cent less electricity and saves 350tpa of CO2 emissions.

The new facility is currently being constructed at the corner of Gaylord and Memorial City Way near the Memorial City Mall in west Houston. Cemex will occupy 170,000ft2 of the 325,000ft2 office building. The construction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2009.