Building an Environmentally Responsible Office Building


Inside the recently completed Haynes and Boone mid-rise Victory Park headquarters, employees have heard so much about the environmentally sustainable features of their new space that some joke the "G" elevator button no longer stands for "Ground," but "Green."

Certainly, getting the 450-employee Dallas office on track to become one of the first American law firms with a U.S. Green Building Council "Gold" certification has necessitated almost as many internal education efforts as executive skull sessions over blueprints.

Going green is more than a building materials checklist; it's a new work-life philosophy for those striving for highest marks under the building council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

"Part of this move was always a discussion about the needed changes in daily routine throughout all processes," said Terry Conner, Haynes and Boone's managing partner. "We have to incorporate sweeping changes in behavior, but everyone is being supportive. I think they accept that we're doing this because it's the right thing for the environment."

The law firm left its 24-year home in a downtown Dallas high-rise late last October, but the planning for its physical and philosophical emersion into a modern green office actually began more than two years ago.

Reprinted by permission, Texas Bar Journal, April 2009.

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