CENTURY CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the second time, Watt Plaza has earned the highest possible LEED certification, attaining LEED Platinum from the U.S. Green Building Council. Watt Plaza exceeded its previous Platinum performance by 5 points due to ongoing improvements and sustainability commitments from all vendors servicing the building.
Watt Plaza was the first building in Century City to achieve LEED Platinum certification, and their LEED Platinum certification for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance is its third LEED certification. The U.S. Green Building Council LEED Certification system is the nation’s benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of the world’s greenest, most energy-efficient and high-performing buildings.
“We are thrilled that Watt Plaza has earned LEED Platinum certification once again, which is especially noteworthy because our building has been operational for over 30 years,” said Nadine Watt, President of Watt Companies. “Sustainability is a top priority for us, and we’re proud to serve as an example of how a large commercial development can achieve the highest level of sustainability without sacrificing a high-quality experience to tenants. Our sustainability initiatives have been multi-faceted and we’re constantly seeking new ways to remain a leader in green development.”
Watt Plaza embraced groundbreaking initiatives to reduce their environmental footprint. Realizing a reduction of over 31% in conventional transportation trips through an Alternative Commuting Transportation program, Watt Plaza is notably the first commercial office building in Century City to install electric vehicle charging stations in the parking facility to encourage the use of emission-free vehicles. The installation of a white roof to reduce the “heat island effect” was also part of its Sustainable Site Development measures.
Watt Plaza achieved a 66% reduction in annual landscape water use compared to the already-low regional average. This significant achievement was due in part to a landscape palette that centered around drought-tolerant plants and utilization of recycled ground covers and a web-based irrigation system that prevented overwatering and ensured the health of the plants.
As part of the engineering team’s ongoing commitment to building improvement, the building underwent a complete third party retro-commissioning of all its equipment and systems in 2016. This comprehensive process spanned multiple months and allowed the engineering team to evaluate energy usage by system, develop cost savings calculations on potential projects, and test the performance of all building equipment. This process included upgrades to LED fixtures, improvements to building’s automation system operating parameters, and general renovations to improve both occupant comfort and energy conservation.
Occupancy Sensors were also installed throughout offices, common areas corridors, stairwells and restrooms, realizing a drop in electrical consumption by 690,000 kWh and improving the environment with an annual reduction of 936,655 pounds of carbon dioxide, 6,849 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 3,624 pounds of nitrogen dioxide.
Thanks in part to these innovations, Watt Plaza has consistently achieved high Energy Star ratings each year since 2004. The building achieved an Energy Star rating of 98 out of 100 this year.
Besides decreasing energy use, Watt Plaza has made it a priority to reduce waste. In addition to e-waste, battery, bulb and ballast recycling programs, Watt Plaza implemented a waste-diversion program that rerouted 75%--45% above the national average--of all building waste to a materials recovery facility, leading to a reduction of 1,866 tons of greenhouse gas emissions to date, equivalent to preserving 6,462 trees a year. In the future, Watt Plaza seeks to reach a 95% diversion of waste, which would allow Watt Plaza to consider itself a “Zero Waste Facility.”
Watt Plaza also demonstrated its commitment to renewable energy development by offsetting 100% of its annual energy consumption through renewable energy acquisitions. This purchase ensures that the amount of energy consumed at Watt Plaza is replenished by renewable, responsible energy sources. Watt Plaza’s commitment to supporting renewable energy development and reducing greenhouse gas emissions has an impact similar to taking 1,686 passenger vehicles off of the road for a year, or planting 206,888 tree seedlings and growing them for ten years.
In addition their laudable greenhouse gas reduction efforts, the team at Watt Plaza expanded their approach to sustainability this year by investing in Pinhook Farms of Clarinda, Iowa, which has been on a multi-decade quest to become a net zero operation that supports untillable acreage through conservation education and tourism aimed at protecting the Indiana Bat.
No detail is overlooked as Watt Plaza continues to strive for the highest sustainability goals. Watt Plaza takes great pride in their high-performance cleaning program, consisting of green-certified products and equipment to reduce the environmental impacts of cleaning products, disposable janitorial paper products and trash bags. Watt Plaza enrolled the entire janitorial staff in the Green Janitor Education Program, an environmental education program for janitors to address the energy management and green cleaning practices of commercial buildings in California.
To assist with the process, Watt Plaza enlisted the help of Healthy Buildings International, Inc., to perform LEED consulting and project management, as well as indoor air quality testing, ventilation testing, ASHRAE audits, and commissioning services.
ABOUT WATT COMPANIES
The Watt Companies is a private, fully-integrated real estate operating and investment company involved in commercial development, homebuilding, asset management and the realization of capital investments for its shareholders, investors, partners and customers across the United States. The company is comprised of four divisions: Watt Investment Partners, the primary new investment and acquisitions arm; Watt Commercial Properties, the management and development services group; Watt Communities, the urban infill residential development group; and Watt Services, which houses the accounting, legal, reporting and financial management activities. In its 60-year history, Watt Companies has developed over eight million square feet of industrial and office space, built more than 50 shopping centers, three first class hotels, homes for over 100,000 families and six major master-planned communities. For more information, please visit www.wattcompanies.com.