Facility Management, Houston

Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center opens

September 26, 1987 (PD: 201409)

Houston Brown Center

George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX

The George R. Brown Convention Center opened on September 26, 1987, on the east side of downtown Houston, Texas.  It was named for the prominent Houstonian George R. Brown, a construction mogul and philanthropist.

The facility took more than 1,200 workers thirty months to complete at a cost of $104.9 million.  It was built as part of the larger Houston Civic Center, a complex of several buildings including a coliseum, performing arts halls, parking lots, and an administrative building which together cover 18 city blocks.

Johnson Controls had a facilities management contract for the entire Civic Center to maintain mechanical and electrical equipment, lighting systems, two major fountains, and to provide structural repairs and landscaping.  Civic Center officials estimated that they saved $7.5 million a year by outsourcing facility operations to Johnson Controls.

A $165 million renovation project from 2001 to 2003 expanded the Brown Center and added an adjacent 1,200-room convention headquarters hotel.  The project expanded the Brown Center from 1.15 million square feet to 1.8 million square feet.

With the new improvements, the George R. Brown Convention Center is one of the 10 largest in the nation.