New Santa Monica Home for Natural Resources Defense Council Shows Off State-of-the-Art Environmentally Friendly Design
SANTA MONICA, CA (November 13, 2003) -- Actor, director and conservationist Robert Redford will join John Adams, president of NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council), to open the national conservation group's new Southern California office, named for Redford and constructed to the highest green building standards. The opening will take place Thursday, November 13 at 10 a.m. at 1314 Second Street, in downtown Santa Monica, California.
The building combines cutting-edge technologies and materials with elegant, energy-efficient architecture to create a showcase for green building design and to promote environmental activism. It is being considered by the U.S. Green Building Council for a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Version 2 Platinum green building rating -- the highest possible level of sustainable design -- and may become the first structure in the United States to achieve this status.
The office demonstrates how buildings can greatly reduce harm to the environment by minimizing the use of land, water, energy and materials in ways that are not only attractive and healthy for occupants, but also practical for owners.
"Using advanced but off-the-shelf technology, this building shows it's possible to protect our natural environment, achieve greater energy independence, and also save money," said Mr. Redford, a member of NRDC's Board of Trustees since 1975. "As more buildings in the U.S. follow suit, we'll protect substantially more natural resources and significantly lessen our dependence on foreign sources of oil."
The 15,000-square-foot Southern California office includes The David Family Environmental Action Center and The Leonardo DiCaprio e-Activism Zone, scheduled to open officially in January.
The building uses 60 percent less water than a standard building of its size by capturing and filtering rain, shower and sink water to irrigate landscaping and flush toilets. It reduces electricity consumption 60 to 75 percent by maximizing natural light and using efficient fixtures and appliances, task lighting, dimmable electronic ballasts, occupancy sensors and extra insulation. The building also meets 20 percent of its electricity needs through rooftop photovoltaic cells. The structure uses only recycled or recyclable materials, and 98 percent of the materials left over from dismantling the original building and constructing the new one were reused or recycled.
The design, by Moule & Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists -- featuring a durable composite clapboard exterior with three "lighthouse" atria -- improves indoor environmental quality and reduces reliance on artificial cooling and lighting. The site is near public transportation, neighborhood amenities, and regional attractions including the Third Street Promenade. The project was managed by Tishman Construction Corporation of California, whose chairman and CEO, Daniel R. Tishman, is an NRDC Trustee.
"As NRDC commits increased resources to protecting the health of Southern California's people and fragile ecosystems, the regional office for our outstanding staff is a living, breathing example of environmental responsibility," said NRDC president John Adams. "At the same time, the Environmental Action Center and e-Activism Zone on the first floor will help inspire and make it easy for people to become involved with urgent global issues."
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 550,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Related NRDC Pages
Virtual Tour of NRDC's Santa Monica Office
Light House: The Airy Environs of NRDC's Southern California Office May Be America's Greenest Building, 11/13/03 in PDF format, 736k.
NRDC Southern California Green Offices, 11/13/03 in PDF format, 730k.