by Travis Broussard, Michael Leighs, April Newman, and John Ragosta
For full report click here.
In an effort to combat global climate change, policymakers, scientists, environmentalists, and those in the construction industry have increasingly supported “green” building practices that focus on resource efficiency and environmental sustainability. In response to the demand for a standardized system to evaluate the environmental sustainability of buildings, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, which has been adopted on a wide scale among businesses, governments, and non-profit organizations.
The City of Los Angeles has demonstrated its commitment to sustainable building through the adoption of a 2002 City Ordinance mandating that all new City-owned buildings of at least 7,500 square feet achieve LEED certification. While requiring that new buildings meet strict environmental standards is important, this focus does not account for the impact of existing buildings. In fact, in 2006, the City built only a handful of new buildings, whereas it maintains an inventory of over 800 buildings.
Recognizing the importance of existing buildings’ sustainability, Los Angeles City Councilmember Herb J. Wesson, Jr. introduced City Council Motion 06-1963 on August 16, 2006 asking the City’s General Services Department (GSD) to explore the possibility of increasing the environmental sustainability of City-owned buildings under LEED guidelines.
Consistent with the goals of City Council Motion 06-1963, this paper analyzes the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) standard as a tool for improving building sustainability. Further, this report considers how the standard should be implemented by the City of Los Angeles. Our analysis has led to the following recommendation:
The City should proceed with a LEED-EB demonstration project across five City-owned buildings to achieve the following goals:
Applying the LEED-EB standard across five buildings offers a tremendous opportunity for the City to conduct a comprehensive review of its operations and maintenance practices with respect to environmental sustainability. By applying the lessons learned across the City’s stock of existing buildings, Los Angeles can make an important contribution to the efforts to combat global warming while demonstrating environmental leadership to other governments and businesses across the region and country.
Specifically, the goals of this report are:
City of Los Angeles, CA. Council File Number: 02-0182. Adopted April 19, 2002. http://cityclerk.lacity.org/cfi/Pub_Search_Summary.cfm?S=2&T=1 (accessed January 10, 2007).