The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded its LEED Silver designation for existing buildings to a Hines office building in Chicago.

The 36-story structure, 333 West Wacker, was built in 1983. The 867,821-square-foot office building is in Chicago’s West Loop submarket and in the city's central business district, on a bend fronting the Chicago River. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the property includes four levels of subterranean parking.

Hines’ U.S. Core Office Fund acquired the asset in April 2006 and Hines' engineering and management teams have improved the property’s operating efficiency, earning the Energy Star label in each of the past three years.

With a current rating of 80 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star scale of 1-100, the building is 32% more energy efficient than the national average for office buildings. A building that scores a 75 or above on the scale places among the top 25% for energy performance among similar buildings, and can earn an Energy Star label.

This translates to estimated annual greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to removing 1,010 passenger vehicles from the road or reducing gasoline consumption by 577,354 gallons.

Green features and programs include a green cleaning program that uses environmentally sensitive cleaning products and practices; a comprehensive waste stream management and recycling program that in 2010 alone resulted in diverting 466 cubic yards of material from area landfills; energy efficient lighting retrofits; and a voluntary tenant program to reduce weekend heating and cooling usage and encourage sustainable purchasing practices.

"We are proud of our team's efforts and accomplishments in confirming this timeless property's efficiency and contribution to reducing its burden on our environment," Tom Danilek, Hines senior vice president, stated in announcing the LEED Silver designation on July 8.

In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Hines, for the fourth time, with the Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award. Hines manages 154 Energy Star-labeled buildings, representing more than 71 million sq. ft.

Twelve Hines development or redevelopment projects, representing more than 6 million sq. ft., have earned Energy Star design designations.

Some 205 Hines projects representing more than 106 million sq. ft. have earned or are pursuing various LEED ratings from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Hines was a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council and the Russian Green Building Council, and is active in the Green Building Council Brasil, the Green Building Council España, the Green Building Council Italia, the Indian Green Building Council, the BRE Environmental Assessment Method program in the United Kingdom and the Haute Qualité Environnementale program in France.

Hines is a privately owned real estate firm based in Houston. With offices in 106 cities in 17 countries, it controls assets valued at approximately $23.7 billion.