Watt Plaza, a complex of two 23-story office towers in Century City, Calif., is the first Los Angeles-area office building to achieve Gold LEED status for existing buildings, in the area of operations and maintenance.
The office complex qualified based on its water conservation, alternative transportation options, energy efficiency measures, waste recovery and an indoor air quality management program.
The installation of low-flow faucets, low-flush toilets and 88 water-free urinals will save millions of gallons of water annually, according to a press release. The water-free urinals alone are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 40,000 pounds a year, based on the Pacific Institute Water-to-Air Model, which is based on a calculation of water and energy demands.
A waste program diverts 70 percent of total building waste to a materials recovery facility. Additionally, there are recycling programs for e-waste, batteries, bulbs and ballast. Workers at Watt Plaza are offered alternative transportation options such as bicycle racks, improved ridesharing programs.
Here is a look at energy efficiency measures at Watt Plaza:
- achievement of a high Energy Star rating each year since 2004;
- installation of 3M Prestige Window film application throughout building interior;
- installation of 2,231 occupancy sensors.
The window film rejects up to 79 percent of the heat that would otherwise come through the window, translating into a savings of about one ton of air conditioning for every 100 square feet of glass exposed to sunlight, according to the release. In the colder winter months, the window film also reflects man-made heat back into the building, reducing heat loss by up to 30 percent.
For improved indoor air quality, the office complex undertakes proper maintenance of outdoor air introduction and exhaust systems. It is using green-certified cleaning products and equipment. Safety guidelines and a periodic green cleaning custodial effectiveness audit add to the indoor air quality.
LEED is a certification of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Some real estate companies have found that actual LEED certification is too costly, although they are still designing buildings to meet the certification levels.