Green Building Design Trends

By Jane Lasky

To celebrate the release of the eco-concious 2017 CT6 Plug-In, Cadillac embarked on a 31-mile drive through Silicon Beach which highlighted some of the most environmentally friendly locations in the Golden State. Check out the video above and be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page for part two of the journey.

Taking the right steps to stay on top of green building trends is a very important aspect of Los Angeles living. That said, in the spirit of keeping up with (and even surpassing) one of the most eco-conscious movements of the day of this nature all parties need to pay particular attention to sustainable designs and the areas in which they thrive.

Silicon Beach

Enter Silicon Beach, home to more than 500 tech startups. This Southern California complement to the Silicon Valley, which thrives on the edge of the Pacific north of Los Angeles International Airport all the way to the Santa Monica Mountains, is where environmental initiatives appear in full force.

Take the residential homes that thrive in the Playa Vista neighborhood for example. For homes in this West L.A. enclave, sustainable design is the bylaw and the exuberant landscaping, tended by irrigated recycled water, is a leader in its realm.

In addition, Santa Monica’s LEED Gold certified Shore Hotel also benefits from an eco-conscious platform. Sleek decor at the highly touted boutique property is sustainably sourced, the on-property swimming pool is solar heated and climate in all accommodations is controlled in a very sophisticated green manner. Even the smallest details at this boutique retreat are environmentally sound, such as the water fountain in the hotel’s fitness facility that is capable of calculating the number of plastic water bottles saved when H2O drinkers use and reuse their own personal vessel.

Green Retrofitting

Another way in which Los Angeles leads in green building design trends is by transforming existing structures like the Gianni Place bank building, which is the former home to Bank of America and was erected in downtown L.A. in 1923. Come the fall of 2017, this masterpiece will be fully transformed into the nifty NoMad Hotel, thanks to the Sydell Group. Indeed, this active firm has been keen on green retrofitting, a very important aspect of its top-flight hospitality enterprises.

The New York-based hotel company recognizes that by utilizing existing buildings with which to work, energy management and water conservation are on tap. This puts its enterprises into a category that means its buildings are not only far less expensive to operate, but can also endure for a longer amount of time than can new builds. In general, their reinventions are by far healthier for the environment at large.

Climate Change

However, even with the commitment to change out older buildings, some alterations are inevitable in order to reduce those already erected edifices’ footprints. The best and simplest way to address this particular issue is to include lighting that has been retrofitted for the occasion. By transforming this important aspect that applies to every structure in the Southland and around the world, climate change is on the radar by experiencing energy bill reduction. This also leads to improvement in each and every indoor environment.

Indeed, Los Angeles is and has been a leader in the broadest sense of the green effort. According to Marissa Gluck writing for the Los Angeles Times, “Today, green has become standard even as the term itself reaches saturation. Green features such as solar panels, low-flow shower heads and tankless water heaters, once considered cutting-edge, are now commonplace in Southern California.”

By building LEED-certified edifices, Southland architects insist that the results are tangible. Not only do these units claim the use of less energy and less air than the buildings that were built in years prior, but these structures are also healthier, safer places in general.

More Preparation

Consider what Simon Story of Anonymous Architects conveyed to Gluck in the LA Times article. He pointed to “compact floor plans and multi-use spaces” as a way to efficiently utilize space that, in turn, makes for utility bills that are lower than those in building who do not employ the same strategies.

He also puts into practice the idea of over-insulating walls and over-insulating roofs. In addition,Simon makes very sure that all windows are installed so that direct sunlight is purposefully avoided in those areas that need such protection.

Story said to Gluck regarding green practices, “It is all pretty sensible stuff, because sensible stuff works.” Now who can argue with that?

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