Siemens' exhibit at the Nov. 14-16 Greenbuild 2012 conference in San Francisco showcased its longstanding partnership with the Los Angeles Convention Center – one of the "greenest" convention centers in the world, and a model of what can be achieved in pursuit of LEED for Existing Buildings certification.
"This year we are highlight green buildings the make greener cities," said Ari Kobb, director of Green Building Solutions for Siemens' Building Technologies division. That includes the Los Angeles Convention Center, which earned LEED-EB twice, he said.
An interview with Rey Castro, the chief building engineer at LACC who describes himself as a "born-again 'green,'" is featured in Sustainable Industries' special Focus: Greenbuild 2012 video series.
LEED-EB is comprised of rigorous performance standards in energy and water conservation, indoor environmental quality and operational effectiveness. Due to the unique challenges of upgrading a massive landmark building to earn LEED-EB, the folks at LACC have an expression, he added: "LEED for New Construction is for sissies and wimps."
Castro has worked with the convention center for more than 20 years, a time in which Siemens helped the project earn certifications and awards, as well as implement ambitious energy-efficiency systems and "more difficult programs" involving smoke evacuation and energy management, he said.[pagebreak]
Erected in 1971, LACC underwent major expansions in 1993 and 1997. It now offers more than 4.1 million square feet of exhibit, meeting and public space. In 2008, LACC became the first LEED certified building in the City of Los Angeles. Two years later, it surpassed its goal of recertification at the Silver level and became the largest convention center in the United States to earn LEED Gold.
LACC is also the largest solar energy generating convention center in North America.
The convention center performs better than 90 percent of buildings with a similar space type, according to Siemens. It's estimated LACC is also now using about two-thirds less energy per square foot than similar buildings across the country. Total greenhouse gas emissions have decreased 12 percent from when LACC first earned LEED certification in 2008.
Castro said part of what makes the LACC one of the greenest convention centers in the world is the culture, "from the top down, from the general manager to event service managers to service providers."
And they're not done yet. A 210,000-square-foot expansion is planned for 2014. Once the expansion is complete, LACC plans to begin the recertification process, this time in pursuit of LEED Platinum.
Slideshow image of Los Angeles Convention Center (Sony Playstation Exhibit) by NaturaLite.