When developer Urban Offerings, Inc. of El Segundo, CA, acquired a 1956 vintage bow truss industrial building in the Culver City area of Los Angeles in 2007 to renovate it for adaptive creative office space, the company envisioned an even greater concurrent challenge: to make an existing building energy sustainable. Both goals were achieved, the company reports.
Urban Offerings and its partner, Meridian Group Ltd. of Los Angeles, have completed their renovation of the 28,000-square-foot building located at 3641 Holdrege Ave. Concurrently, Urban Offerings announces that it has received a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for core and shell renovation, the second highest sustainability designation awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Prior to completing building renovation, Urban Offerings leased 18,500 square feet of the space to the prominent Herman Miller, Inc. for its Los Angeles National Design Center.
“I believe in sustainable development. It is becoming the industry standard and the next major wave of development. We were committed to making this building a benchmark for energy conservation even though it took a special effort from our development team because we were renovating an existing industrial structure with constraints not faced in ground-up development,” Dean Nucich, managing principal of Urban Offerings, said. “We were also dedicated to retaining the building’s classic bow truss roof structure,” he added.
Stating that the LEED Gold certification was a “team recognition,” Nucich praised lead consultant Zinner Consultants of Santa Monica, CA, general contractor Oltmans Construction Co. of Whittier, CA, and architect Lynch/Eisinger/Design (LED) of New York, NY.
“The major challenges in achieving LEED Gold were associated with accomplishing the required energy efficiency with the creation of two new 20-foot glass walls. The Douglas Fir vertical screens hang over the glass walls to provide the necessary solar shading, while the cool roof as designed by Independent Roofing Consultants provides the necessary R Values in achieving the required energy efficiency for the building,” Nucich said.
He emphasized that the “cool roof system” reflects the sun’s heat. “This also allowed us to retain the architectural integrity of the original bow truss roof system. It is a beautiful structural and architectural feature virtually impossible to re-create today cost-wise,” Nucich said.
He added that another key aspect of the renovation was his firm’s decision to reduce the building’s footprint to provide outdoor public spaces.
Architect Simon Eisinger, principal of LED, added: “Mediating between the finely textured wood elements and the rough existing concrete walls, a Corten steel screen clads a portion of the existing building, and folds over to offer protection for the front entrance, bolstering the building’s distinct curbside identity. Overall, the palette of Douglas Fir, Corten steel, and sand-blasted concrete give the building a warm character, but one at home with its surroundings.”
Other elements contributing to the LEED Gold designation, according to Oltmans Construction Co., include a building material decision that reduces heat island effect by utilizing light colored concrete and shading elements, water use reduction through low-flow restroom fixtures, the absence of automatic landscape irrigation, draught tolerant plants, a contract for renewable energy to provide a minimum 70 percent of the building’s power for a period of two years, recycled or reused non-hazardous construction and demolition water, and skylights and windows to achieve natural daylight in seven percent of the building’s occupied areas.
Approximately 10,000 square feet of the Holdrege Ave. building is available for lease and is being marketed by First Property of Beverly Hills.