Sustainable communities offer residents a higher living standard
The Woodlands® and Bridgeland®, both in the Greater Houston area—have earned LEED precertification by the U.S. Green Building Council, becoming the first master-planned communities (MPCs) in Texas to achieve this status. The Woodlands and Bridgeland join an elite global group of entities recognized by LEED for being dedicated to making their communities healthy, resilient, inclusive, and inherently sustainable for residents. The Woodlands, at 44.5 square miles, becomes the largest master-planned community in the world to earn recertification.
“Our work to achieve LEED precertification of The Woodlands—a large-scale, award-winning community that opened in 1974 and is today home to over 120,000 residents—exemplifies The Howard Hughes Corporation’s commitment to the long-term vision of founder George Mitchell for creating a self-sustaining ecosystem, one that anticipated to a remarkable degree almost 50 years ago the principles of ESG that today guide development across our national portfolio,” said David R. O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of The Howard Hughes Corporation.
The LEED framework encompasses social, economic, and environmental performance indicators and strategies with a clear, data-driven means of benchmarking and communicating progress. LEED for Cities and Communities helps local leaders execute responsible, sustainable, and specific plans for natural systems, energy, water, waste, transportation, and other factors that contribute to the quality of life. The program aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is influenced by engagement with hundreds of cities and communities around the globe, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.
“A sustainable community strives to offer its residents a higher living standard. A LEED community takes action and delivers measurable outcomes that improve overall quality of life for residents,” said Peter Templeton, Interim CEO, United States Green Building Council. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection, building more resilient communities is crucial, and The Woodlands and Bridgeland LEED precertification is a symbol of their leadership.”
LEED precertification recognizes the many initiatives implemented over the years at The Woodlands and Bridgeland, promoting a sustainable quality of life immersed in nature, with extensive open space, diverse home products, highly acclaimed schools, and urban amenities. People are moving to The Woodlands and Bridgeland as they seek the outstanding lifestyle for which the communities are known. Companies are following suit and moving to The Woodlands as they seek to benefit from the community’s strong workforce and offer employees a sought-after work-life balance.
“People and businesses want to be located in communities that they trust will embody their values while offering an exceptional quality of life,” said Jim Carman, President of the Houston Region for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “The Howard Hughes Corporation takes a people-centric approach to developing vital, sustainable communities that enhance the quality of life of all in our communities—an approach that is intrinsically linked to economic growth and community outreach programs that support our environmental and social measures designed to increase energy efficiencies, lower our carbon footprint, and increase community connectivity.”
The Woodlands, a 28,500-acre master-planned community, devotes an unprecedented 28% to green space within 220 miles of hike-and-bike trails, 151 parks, and forest preserves. The Woodlands was recently ranked as the #1 Best Community to Live in America for the second consecutive year by Niche. The community is home to over 120,000 residents and 2,300 employers with over 63,000 employees.
“The Woodlands offers 1.5 jobs per household, a goal first envisioned by Mitchell and realized today as The Howard Hughes Corporation continues to drive economic and sustainable growth, with more people commuting into The Woodlands daily for employment than commuting out as a result of our robust job market—one that allows for shorter commute times and tremendous amenities for all who live, work, or visit here,” added Carman.
At 11,500 acres, Bridgeland is the #1 best-selling master-planned community in the Greater Houston area, #2 in Texas, and #15 in the nation, ranked by national real estate consultant RCLCO. Bridgeland has dedicated approximately 28% of the community’s acreage to open green space, lakes, trails, parks, and other amenities. Now in its 16th year of development, the community is home to approximately 18,000 people and strives to create a place where residents and nature can thrive together in harmony. Upon buildout, Bridgeland will be home to 65,000 people.
About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a healthy, resilient, and equitable future for all through the development of green buildings, cities, and communities. For more than 20 years, USGBC has been advancing green building practices through the development of LEED, the world’s most widely used green building program. With the support of thousands of members, volunteers, and partners, USGBC provides robust green building education courses, a rigorous professional credentialing program, and advocates for effective public policies. It convenes an international network of green building and sustainability leaders through the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo and forward-thinking programs, including the Center for Green Schools. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.