L.A. Leads Country in Green Commercial Buildings

By Roger Vincent
Los Angeles Times
March 3, 2009

Los Angeles commercial property landlords are going green on a
bigger scale than their counterparts in other cities, the federal
Environmental Protection Agency said today.

The EPA awarded the most Energy Star ratings in the country last
year to Los Angeles, where 262 buildings earned the agency's coveted
designation. Energy Star buildings use at least 35% less energy than
average buildings and emit 35% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The sheer size of Los Angeles suggests it would have the most
buildings going green, but size wasn't the only factor, EPA
spokeswoman Maura Beard said. "California often leads the country in
being progressive in looking at the environment and looking at what
they can do," she said. San Francisco came in second in the country.
Rounding out the top 10 in 2008 were Houston, Washington, D.C.,
Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Atlanta and Seattle.

One of the Energy Star buildings in the Los Angeles area is Little
Company of Mary's San Pedro Hospital, where operators pushed for
improvements because they knew they could save money while doing the
right thing, said Andy Goldschmidt, director of facilities. "We
aggressively tried to make this happen," he said. Steps included
upgrading to energy-saving lighting and installing more efficient
motors for elevators, fans and other mechanical systems. Among the
results was a 2.4% reduction in electricity use, which saved the
hospital $90,000 last year. "We spent $300,000 on this program over
the past three years, but we've already made it back," Goldschmidt said.


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