As cities re-develop and re-define themselves in new urban and sustainable ways, mixed-used mini-cities are becoming popular oasises in the midst of traditional metropolitan areas.
In Houston, Texas, one of such, ‘city-with-in-a-city’ exists and is called Memorial City. It is 7.6 million SF of a place that intertwines the living, shopping, working and play parts of its population’s lives.
Memorial City is, “A privately-held real estate investment, development and management company headquarters.”
Part of that headquarters is a 14,700 SF, 2-floor mixed-use building called the “Treehouse.” It is designed by MetroNational and is not a tree-house at all but is named that because they want visitors to the space to use their imagination and be creative like kids in a tree-house do. It is a meeting and conference building.
The Treehouse in Memorial City is a technologically advanced, environmentally sound and stimulating building. It is awaiting the platinum LEED certification, which is the highest level given by the LEED organization.
The building includes the following sustainable aspects:
- Geothermal cooling and heating systems
- Solar panels
- Wind turbines
- Daylight-harvesting lights
- Green roof with rooftop garden
- Outdoor furniture of recycled plastic bottles
- Flooring and other indoor materials from recycled and reclaimed goods
- Bike storage for employees
The Treehouse building is a small part of Memorial City which is a small step in Houston as a city becoming a better place for people to live. This is just another small step toward a sustainable urban future and an example that other cities and ‘city-with-in-city’ spaces can used to becoming more thriving environments.