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2015 Award: Associated Builders and Contractors – Houston Excellence in Construction Merit Award

Project: Mickey Leland Federal Building


This project was a comprehensive renovation to The Mickey Leland Federal Building which was originally built in 1983. The 22 story building located in downtown Houston not only had a complete façade replacement utilizing glass curtain wall, it also had complete renovation to all 22 interior floors. All this took place while the building was fully occupied by 14 different government agencies and one Congresswoman.

The lead Architect’s goals for the project were to not only modernize the building, but to address the air and water infiltration into the building. The project had a lengthy schedule due to the fact that people had to be relocated from floor to floor to complete the construction process. The building received gold LEED certification.

The upgrades to the building lobby and common areas, such as the public plaza and the breezeway, have given the building a very contemporary and modern feel. Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) installed 8,000 square feet of Solar White Pavers from North Carolina Granite and 200 square feet of Cambrian Black Granite Pavers from Cold Spring Granite in the lobby and breezeways. The installation of these stones in the lobby floors resembled piano keys. CMS also installed 1,400 square feet of Sheffield Vein Cut Limestone from Vermont Structural Slate on a feature wall. This stone was cut in Vermont, dry laid for the Architect’s approval, then each piece was numbered, crated and shipped to Cold Spring Granite Co. where art work resembling shadows of trees, designed by Mary Temple, was etched into the stone. The stone was then re-crated and sent to Houston for installation.

Another interesting feature to the site was the 30,000 4” x 4” Iridian Cobbles that were installed in 28 radius patterns around tree wells and drains. These cobbles were flamed finished on the face and split face on the edges. The installation of the cobbles proved to be a tedious process. In order to maintain consistent joints, the cobbles had to be cut into eight different sizes using the smallest pieces directly around the trees and bigger pieces as the radius grew out away from the tree.

In addition to the lobby stones and the landscape stones, CMS also installed Mesabi Black vanity tops from Cold Spring Granite in each of the 44 restrooms.

The finished product resulted in a transformation of the 1980 design into a more modern structure with a 21st century appearance.

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