Historic Art Deco building wins USGBC Sustainability Award | Business

The historic Trust Building in Downtown Los Angeles has won USGBC-LA Sustainable Innovation Award in the Zero Waste & Circular Solutions category.

Rising Realty Partners purchased and redeveloped this building with an interdisciplinary team involving involving ARG, Gensler, Morley Builders and Gaia — a high-performance building consulting firm, helping the building achieve LEED Gold certification.  

The Trust Building’s renovation process preserved over 95% of the historical Art Deco features while holding the embodied carbon, giving it a second life.

According to McKinsey and Company, embodied carbon is a significant percentage of global emissions and requires urgent action to address it because it contains “all the greenhouse gas emissions associated with building construction, including those that arise from extracting, transporting, manufacturing and installing building materials on-site, as well as the operational and end-of-life emissions associated with those materials.” 

“Historic preservation is also carbon preservation,” said Ryan McEvoy, principal at Gaia, who has contributed to more than 450 international projects.

Gaia provides sustainability guidance to real estate developers, architects, contractors, owners and managers. Gaia provided data that supported Rising Realty Partners’ decision to keep the building instead of demolishing it.

Furthermore, revitalizing the Trust Building aligns with Los Angeles city’s goals in the Bringing Back Broadway strategic development plan to restore the historic corridor in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Carbon Leadership Forum has conducted studies that show that over the next 30 years, embodied carbon and operational carbon will be roughly equivalent. With energy modeling software, high-performance lighting and HVAC, and low-cost solar, it’s now easier to design, build and operate buildings that are carbon neutral. 

The Trust Building is one of few historic buildings in Los Angeles to achieve LEED Gold certification. USGBC (United States Green Building Council) created the LEED rating system (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the most widely used green building rating system in the world. 

Gaia and Rising Realty Partners will coordinate public tours and sustainability workshops at the Trust Building starting in 2022. 

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