Watt Plaza, a twin 23-story office tower complex, recently became the first office building in Los Angeles to receive a Gold LEED certification in the Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance category. It is now one of five buildings in California and 12 nationwide to receive this designation. The more then 25-year-old building serves as a stark reminder that new buildings aren’t the only being designed for efficiency these days. And window film, among other retrofitting products, helped add its name to the list.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED certification system, which has become a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, provides a measurement of performance for commercial buildings in five key areas pertaining to human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. In the energy category, adaptations for Watt Plaza include the installation of 3M Prestige Window film throughout the building’s interior. According to property managers, the new film rejects up to 79 percent of solar heat gain, which they estimate can translate into a savings of about one ton of air conditioning for every 100 square feet of glass exposed to sunlight. In the winter months, film also reflects manmade heat back into the building, reducing heat loss by up to 30 percent.
“Watt Plaza’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, chief executive officer and founding chair for the USGBC. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Watt Plaza serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”
“We have made a significant effort to transform Watt Plaza into a shining example of environmental innovation,” says Nadine Watt, president of Watt Plaza. “We are thrilled to receive this much sought-after and prestigious certification, especially when you consider these buildings have been operational for over 25 years. This achievement underscores our deep-seeded commitment to protecting the environment and our desire to contribute to the growing strength of the green building movement.”