LADWP Headquarters Receives LA County’s Green Leadership Award
Historic John Ferraro Building Honored for Environmentally Sustainable Benefits to Community and Residents of LA County
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) officials today proudly accepted the County of Los Angeles Green Leadership Award in the Public Agency category for an extensive energy-efficiency and sustainability at the LADWP’s headquarters, the John Ferraro Building (JFB). The award ceremony held at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration culminates efforts by LADWP staff to make the JFB in Downtown LA, a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold certified facility. The Green Leadership Award – Public Agency category honors organizations that demonstrate environmental leadership in local government through innovative legislation, regulations, or initiatives that encourage sustainability.
“It is with great pride today that we accept this honor from the LA County Board of Supervisors,” said LADWP General Manager David H. Wright. “This award is emblematic of what we strive for as a utility and affirms our commitment to providing reliable water and electricity to our customers through guiding principles for a clean energy and sustainable future.”
“The Green Leadership Awards program recognizes outstanding efforts by individuals and organizations to improve our environmental sustainability, and to highlight these best practices,” said County CEO Sachi A. Hamai.
Long before the goal to achieve LEED began, the JFB underwent an extensive retrofit of its major operating systems in the 1990s. Forward-thinking staff pushed to retrofit the central plant, installed 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. Coupled with new digital energy monitoring systems, LADWP staff have a wide range of data at their disposal 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. As a result, by the time a goal was established to achieve LEED certification, the JFB was well positioned to meet the criteria of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
Thanks to many hardworking and dedicated staff, when it came time to apply for LEED certification in 2014, the JFB was able to provide a solid waste policy audit, an alternative commuting survey, a water-performance management plan, a sustainable purchasing policy and audit, a green cleaning policy, a custodial effectiveness assessment, continued reductions in outdoor water use and installation of more EV chargers. The JFB stands as an architecturally significant building that helped usher in a new era for LADWP, Bunker Hill and the City of Los Angeles. Architects, historians and photographers have celebrated the JFB as one of the great mid-century buildings of Los Angeles. Fifty years after it was built, the building earned its LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) certification, recognized for best-in-class building strategies and practices.
As an important architectural landmark of the LA skyline, the building stands as a City icon. Living up to that legacy, efficiency and sustainability improvements to the JFB will continue to be made in the coming years. As the flagship building for the Department, it represents LADWP’s clean energy future with more efficient use of energy, greater reliance on renewable energy, zero coal and sustainable water management.
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