LADWP Headquarters Building Wins Sustainability Award
|LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Downtown LA headquarters, the John Ferraro Building, was honored with a 2016 Sustainable Innovation Award at the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Los Angeles’ 12th Annual Green Gala on November 10th.
The LEED certified John Ferraro Building was presented with the Honor Award for Indoor Environmental Quality, celebrating the high quality of the building’s interior air.
LADWP’s Chief Sustainability Officer Nancy Sutley accepted the award on behalf of the Department.
“The John Ferraro Building is spectacular not only architecturally with its mid-century design, but also in the efficiency of its operations,” Sutley said. “Fifty years after it was built, the building earned its LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance certification, and was recognized for best-in-class building strategies and practices.”
Built in 1965, the John Ferraro Building featured innovative, experimental features for the time such as integrated heating, ventilation, lighting and air conditioning. The reflecting pool and fountains, to this day, help dissipate about 1/3 of the air conditioning heat load. All climate regulating devices for the building were centralized within a data control center.
The building underwent an extensive retrofit of its major operating systems in the 1990s where staff worked to retrofit the central plant, installed two 1,100-ton chillers for air conditioning, replaced most of the lighting with energy efficient fixtures, installed solar panels 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, staff has a wide range of data at their disposal that allows them to fine tune and tailor operations for the building’s needs. LEED certification was awarded to the building in 2015.
Both the building’s LEED Certification and the Sustainable Innovation Award for Indoor Environmental Quality are due to the hard work of LADWP’s Industrial Hygiene group. Marc Hendon, Senior Industrial Hygienist with Corporate Safety for LADWP explains, “The efforts of our Industrial Hygienists were instrumental in building upon the nexus between safety and sustainability. The result is a proactive approach to indoor environmental quality that is now a dedicated element of LADWP’s Corporate Sustainability Programs.”
Unlike standardized LEED rating systems, the Sustainable Innovation Awards evaluate merit based upon sustainable strategies that demonstrate exemplary performance by going above and beyond LEED credit achievement. In total 9 awards were presented at the ceremony held at the Bonaventure Brewing Company.