IBC Bank in Texas, is bringing an environmentally friendly addition to the Austin skyline.

The unit of the $11.9 billion-asset International Bancshares (IBOC) in Laredo broke ground Tuesday on a 13-story office tower that will house the bank's Austin headquarters.

The building, which is designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's silver designation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, will contain an IBC branch and drive-through on the ground level.

In all, IBC expects to occupy roughly 14% of the 194,794 rentable square feet designed to be available in the building, which is said to be the city's first downtown office tower in more than a decade.

"The IBC Bank Plaza will allow us to continue providing superior customer service in a state-of-the-art facility that maximizes convenience," Bob Barnes, IBC Bank's Austin president, said in a press release.

Barnes added that the building, which is located at 500 W. 5th Street, would offer "unrivaled access for tenants and visitors" because of its location between the city's Congress Avenue and Market District development.

"The IBC Bank Plaza building is designed to be a mid-rise boutique office building that is flexible, efficient and sustainable," added Owen McCrory, a principal at HKS Architects, which designed the building.

IBC Bank has 13 branches in the Austin area.

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