Skip to Content
Visit this page to learn how to contact us.

LADWP Newsroom


DATE: March 2, 2017 2:53:02 PM PST

LADWP Letterhead

LADWP’s Headquarters Building Honored for Outstanding Sustainability

LOS ANGELES —The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Downtown Los Angeles headquarters, the John Ferraro Building, was presented with the first-ever Walk the Walk Award during the Third Annual Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC) Innovation Awards Tuesday.

The LABBC Innovation Awards recognize property owners and managers who have made outstanding contributions toward the energy and water conservation goals laid out in the Mayor’s Sustainable City pLAn. Winners are selected based not just on energy and water savings, but also based on the ways in which their projects demonstrate innovation, commitment and leadership in the context of the current economic environment.

The Walk the Walk Award was created to honor the City-owned building that achieves the most significant year-over-year energy and water savings, as judged by a panel of their peers and industry experts. LADWP’s John Ferraro Building was selected due to the building’s energy and water saving upgrades which engage employees in behavior changes that have led to reduced operating costs, ultimately lowering associated greenhouse gas emissions by 12,900 metric tons of CO2 per year.

The award was accepted by LADWP’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Nancy Sutley, on behalf of the LADWP during Tuesday’s award ceremony at the California Endowment in Downtown Los Angeles.

“We are very pleased that the John Ferraro Building was selected as the first recipient of the Walk the Walk Award,” LADWP General Manager David H. Wright said. “The building is a true example of how LADWP walks the talk of conservation and sustainability by employing low flow toilets and LED lighting, among other improvements. And the Department didn’t just stop with our headquarters; we have also installed California-friendly landscaping at 75 facilities throughout the City. By showcasing water-wise plants and landscape features within communities, we hope to inspire others to do the same at their own homes and businesses.”

The John Ferraro Building is an 880,000 square foot office building built in 1965 to be a signature facility for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Long before the goal to achieve LEED certification began, the building underwent an extensive retrofit of its major operating systems in the 1990s. Forward-thinking staff pushed to retrofit the central plant, installing two 1,100-ton chillers for air conditioning, replaced most of the lighting with energy efficient fixtures, and began a meticulous documentation program of the building’s power usage to track performance and improvement over the next two decades.  

One of the major efficiency measures was a three-year, in-house installation of variable frequency controls for cooling and airflow. This allowed fans and other equipment to run at lower speeds once air conditioning demand was met.

Today, those systems are coupled with new digital energy monitoring systems, providing staff with a wide range of data that allows them to fine tune and tailor operations for the building’s needs. 

In addition, solar panels were added to one of the parking lots and electric vehicle chargers were installed for employees and visitors. To reduce waste, a recycling program was instituted throughout the building. To conserve water, new low flow fixtures were installed to increase efficiency and the exterior grounds were completely redesigned with water conservation gardens to serve as a model and inspiration of the new, ideal water-wise Los Angeles landscape. 

The building achieved LEED EBOM Certification in June 2015 and LEED Gold via the dynamic plaque in June 2016.