The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles is the first project in the USA to be registered for assessment under BREEAM In-Use.
This follows the launch of BREEAM USA in June of this year, which aims to give a new lease of life to the 5.6 million existing buildings in the US.
Developers and owners of 1.8 million square foot development are The Ratkovich Company. With a $160 million renovation purse, they have completely transformed the site into a welcoming, stimulating urban centre, including retail, entertainment and workplace facilities.
This includes a sleekly redesigned Macy’s, a 496 room Sheraton Hotel and 750,000 square foot luxury office tower which blends with an open-to-the-sky marketplace featuring thoughtfully curated local boutiques. The Bloc also includes an expansive outdoor space that will play host to a diverse roster of LA’s coolest art installations and live performances.
In an interview with Environmental Leader, Clare De Briere, chief operating officer and executive VP at The Ratkovich Company said that they expect to achieve BREEAM In-Use certification by the end of the month or early November. The project also holds LEED certification and is in addition going for WELL building certification.
These certifications are “a way for us to really focus on our core corporate values of building projects that are good for the environment, good for the people who use them and good for the cities where we build them” she said. “From a purely marketing standpoint, we love to be the first that is working to become BREEAM certified.”
De Briere says the project’s green building features provide an immediate payback and upon completion of all the efficiency improvements, the company expects to save 20 percent on energy bills alone.
“The cost to do what we’re doing it not more than the savings we’re achieving by doing it,” she said. “It’s also offset by the leasing of the space and the premium in rent we get. Even if it’s only a few extra cents per foot per month, we wouldn’t be getting it if we didn’t have these certifications.”
“[BREEAM] is an opportunity for property owners who maybe can’t make it through the whole LEED certification process. BREEAM is a little less expensive and more accessible to smaller buildings that are older. It gives everybody the chance to reach for that gold star and say here is what we are doing to help the environment.”
For more information on BREEAM USA go to www.breeam.com/usa and for the wider international operation of BREEAM In-Use (across 30 countries) go to www.breeam.com/inuse. For the ‘story of The Bloc’ click here.