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New City Facility Honored for Sustainable Design and Technology

Pasadena Water and Power’s new field operations building has been recognized with a 2011 Sustainable Innovation Award from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Los Angeles Chapter.

Published on Sunday, November 20, 2011 | 4:43 pm

Pasadena Water and Power’s new field operations building has been recognized with a 2011 Sustainable Innovation Award from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Los Angeles Chapter.

The award, received in the category of Innovation in Design – Technology, is the fourth honor bestowed on the sustainably designed building, which opened this year at the City Yards, 245 W. Mountain St.

The 31,400-square-foot, two-story building provides a substantially more modern work environment for Pasadena Water and Power employees who previously worked in an antiquated 1930s-era building that was deficient in the areas of heating, cooling, ventilation, fire, life safety and accessibility.

The new building saves resources and money by including the following features and accomplishments:

* 44 percent increase in water efficiency

* 44 percent of power from green sources

* 26 percent reduction in site water runoff, and increased soil water retention through the use of permeable concrete paving

* Recycled and sustainable building materials, including non-toxic paints, flooring and work station and office/restroom countertops made from recycled milk cartons

* 100 percent use of green cleaning products

* Green roof-plant materials to reduce heat gain and save energy

* Recycling of 97 percent of construction waste

* Increased daylight for 97 percent of building occupants

For its environmental merits, the building also has achieved LEED Gold certification, making it an example of the best green building practices as established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“The Field Operations Building is an example of how the city of Pasadena and our municipal utility are maintaining a high level of commitment to environmental stewardship while doing the right thing by our citizens,” said Mayor Bill Bogaard. “This project exceeds the LEED Silver level certification requirement in our city’s Green Building Ordinance and for that we all can be proud.”

The City of Pasadena achieved LEED Gold certification for the seismic upgrade of Pasadena City Hall, completed in 2007, and the renovated Pasadena Convention Center project received LEED Gold certification in 2010.

Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, praised the project.

“Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of government agencies in that effort, the city of Pasadena demonstrates its leadership through LEED Gold certification of the Pasadena Water and Power Field Operations Building,” he said.

The new facility also represents the city’s commitment to superior safety standards. Designed to meet all current seismic safety codes, it features a modern water quality lab and high-tech training and conference rooms.

“The investments made in the building will pay off for Pasadena in the form of reduced utility costs and a safer, more efficient working environment,” said Shari Thomas, PWP’s assistant general manager of finance.

The project has received three other awards: the 2011 award for excellence in structural engineering for new construction from the National Council of Structural Engineers Association and two architectural accolades from the Pasadena and Foothill Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The project was planned and built through a collaboration of city staff from PWP and the Public Works, Fire and Planning departments. The Pasadena firm of Gonzalez Goodale Architects headed the design efforts.

“From conception to design to execution, this building is truly inspired,” said Steve Wright, assistant city engineer in the Public Works Department. “We are so proud to have contributed to a project that makes a real difference in everyday working conditions at Pasadena Water and Power while doing right by the environment.”

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