Los Angeles, CA – On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at its 3rd Annual Innovation Awards luncheon, the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC) recognized five Los Angeles buildings that are on the cutting edge of energy and water savings. With utility rates on the rise, landlords and property managers across the city are looking to do more with less, and these innovators are leading the way with efficiency upgrades that keep costs down while maximizing comfort and reliability for tenants and residents.
LABBC is part of a nationwide competition for existing buildings to achieve 20% energy and water savings by 2020. LABBC’s experts help building owners identify efficiency projects that offer the greatest bang for the buck, and leverage incentive programs to offset costs. So far, more than 600 Los Angeles properties have entered the challenge, from hospitals to museums, retail stores to condo complexes. Last year alone, 178 new properties took part, saving 95 GWh hours of energy.
“This year’s Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge Innovation Award winners show that energy and water savings are within reach for historic properties, office buildings, industrial facilities, college campuses, and everything in between,” said LABBC Executive Director Dave Hodgins. “Regardless of age, size, or occupants, every building can do more with less, and efficiency upgrades typically pay for themselves many times over, not just through cost savings, but through improved overall performance, system reliability, and comfort.”
“Here in Los Angeles, we know that environmental health and economic growth go hand in hand,” said Matt Petersen, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles. “We congratulate the winners of the LA Better Buildings Challenge Innovation Awards, and commend all challenge participants for leading the way to a more vibrant and resilient Los Angeles. Their efforts to save water and energy are getting us one step closer to achieving the vision of Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn.”
After reviewing dozens of nominations and thirteen finalists for its Third Annual Innovation Awards, LABBC presented awards to five standouts:
Watt Plaza, for Energy Project of the Year
Watt Companies’ flagship property in the heart of Century City achieved LEED Platinum certification and increased its Energy Star score to 99 out of 100, saving 2.7 million kWh of energy through upgrades to its central plant, lighting, windows, and water heaters. Watt Plaza also educates tenants on their role in saving energy, and offsets all of its energy use through renewable energy credits.
UCLA, for Water Project of the Year
UCLA slashed water use by more than 28 million gallons per year by reclaiming water from air conditioning, sterilization, and other equipment and using it to cool the campus’s massive combined heat and power plant. To date, UCLA has piped 22 buildings to collect clean water that would otherwise flow into sewers. The campus continues to build out the system and estimates it will save an additional 20 million gallons in the next year.
RW Zant, for Overall Project of the Year
Since 1951, R W Zant has provided cold storage, meat processing, and trucking services to the local food industry. With temperatures and costs rising, the company turned to efficiency as a way to stay competitive and stay in LA. LED lighting, improved insulation, upgraded fixtures and a new HVAC system have helped R W Zant cut energy by 24 percent and water by 60 percent. Employees did their part, participating in the demand response program and supporting the switch to more efficient lighting and controls in office spaces.
Century Park, for Portfolio Project of the Year
This three million square foot superblock is the business address for 10,000 people driving 5,900 cars daily. In 2016, management of this LEED Gold property added LEDs with dimmers and occupancy sensors to garages and stairwells, reducing lighting energy use by 67 percent or 2.7 million kWh annually. Drought tolerant landscaping and water recycling cut water use by 30 percent, or 24 million gallons per year. Century Park also hosts bimonthly tenant town halls on efficiency, creating a real community around the company’s sustainability efforts.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s John Ferraro Building, for the Walk the Walk Award
The headquarters of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was a center of innovation in 1960’s and it still is, demonstrating that aging facilities can be efficient. It boasts a water conservation garden and a reflecting pool with recycled water. Other upgrades improved lighting, air conditioning, and landscaping. Employees changed their habits to pitch in too. Energy use plummeted 42 percent, saving 24 GWh hours annually and $2.9 million. With support from its workforce, the building achieved LEED certification by its 50th anniversary.