IBM Tivoli Systems, Inc.
Project type: Commercial
Project size: 200000
Cost/sq ft: $0
Completion date: November 01, 2002

Project Goals

The 200,000 square foot IBM Tivoli office building earned a 4-Star rating from the Green Building Program and a Certified LEED rating. Some companies choose to use both the regionally-based GBP rating tool and the nationally acclaimed LEED tool. Tivoli incorporated a wide variety of green building strategies, including thoughtful site selection, design that focused on energy efficiency, and careful materials choices. IBM Tivoli employees drove the decision to build the new campus in a sustainable way. The process of building this new campus created the opportunity for IBM to meet employee needs and earn local and national recognition for their sustainability efforts.

Project Description

The five-story building is located in Austin's "Smart Growth" corridor and is served by existing City infrastructure. Much of the 90-acre site was specifically left undeveloped so that open space and walking trails could be incorporated.The Tivoli site is friendly to alternative forms of transportation - it is located on four major bus routes, provides carpool and bicycle parking, and includes space for a future light rail station on the property.

Effective collaboration between the architect and mechanical engineer led to an energy-saving building design that incorporates proper orientation, shading devices, high performance window glazing, efficient HVAC systems, and an EnergyStar-compliant, reflective, white roof.

Responding to employee concerns about air quality, Tivoli developed Indoor Air Quality plans for all phases of construction. They specified and installed low emitting materials (for example, carpet and adhesives) to minimize the smells and eye irritation common in newly constructed buildings. Indoor air quality is maintained with high efficiency filtration and variable speed air handling units. Tivoli also eliminated CFC's, HCFC's and Halon in the air conditioning systems and used an innovative termite barrier that works without chemicals. Tivoli provides daylight and exterior views for all office areas and "user friendly" stairwells that have skylights and wide stairwells in an effort to make using the stairs a pleasant alternative to the elevator.

Project Features


  • Site chosen was within Austin's preferred development corridor and used existing infrastructure, including bus lines and bike routes.
  • Large areas of site left undeveloped.
  • Building was properly oriented on site to take advantage of optimal daylighting, shading and breezes.


  • Native, drought-resistant plants were used to reduce irrigation needs.
  • All rainwater is routed to the retaining ponds - the retaining ponds help restore the aquifer, add visual impact and reduce solids that would otherwise be in the runoff.

Energy & Atmosphere:

  • Energy efficient HVAC systems (credited by LEED for a 27% reduction from the conventional ASHRAE office building standard).
  • White membrane roof reflects heat, lowers energy consumption, and reduces urban heat-island effects.
  • Early adopter of Austin Energy’s GreenChoice program.

Materials & Resources:

  • Over 50% of the construction materials are from local (within 500 miles) sources.
  • Recycled over 50% of the construction waste to beneficial uses. For example, the rocks that make up the retaining pond walls were recycled from the building and utility trench excavations.

Indoor Environmental Quality:

  • Low VOC interior materials.
  • No CFC's, HCFC's and Halon (ozone reducing chemicals) in the air conditioning systems.
  • Interior finishes selected to protect indoor air quality.

Innovations or Other:

  • Innovative termite barrier around piping and between concrete slab expansion joints - stops termites without chemicals.

Testing/General Results:

  • Not Available

Last Updated: 5/6/14
Project Team

Building Owner
IBM/Tivoli Systems, represented by Julie Barr

IBM Realty Services
Craig Anderson, AIA

Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum

Mechanical Engineer
Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum

The Beck Group

Building Commissioning and Energy Modeling
Delphi Groupe, Inc.

LEED Coordinator
Delphi Groupe, Inc.

Jerry Van Norman, P.E.

Civil Engineer
Bury and Partners Inc.

Landscape Architect
RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture


Employees are encouraged to use the appealing glassed in stairwells.

The Tivoli site features a large retaining pond and several water features, including a stream.
Photo by Paul Bardagjy

Over half of the construction waste was recycled or re-used.