LOS ANGELES - The National Audubon Society has announced that the Audubon Center in Los Angeles is the first building in the nation to receive a Platinum Rating - the highest possible - under the U.S. Green Building Council's new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System 2.1.

The 5,023-square-foot building is the first in the city of Los Angeles to be powered completely by on-site solar systems, functioning entirely off the grid. The building also uses significantly less water than a conventional building of its size.

"Audubon has been a leader in conservation for nearly a century," said Jerry Secundy, executive director of Audubon California. "The Audubon Center at Debs Park continues that legacy. As our nation's cities and population grow, the environmental and economic advantages of sustainably designed buildings will become increasingly important. The role of the Audubon Center as a model of green architecture will only grow more significant in years to come."

In order to meet the requirements for the Platinum Rating, a building must earn a minimum of 52 sustainability points out of an available 69. Points are awarded for everything from site selection and materials used, to innovative design and indoor environmental quality. The Audubon Center at Debs Park earned 53 LEED points, receiving particularly high marks for its efficient water system and renewable energy sources.

"In a city like Los Angeles, embracing sustainable design is one of the most responsible actions you can take," said Christine Ervin, president and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council. "As a premier example of green architecture, the Audubon Center will provide inspiration and guidance for others looking to go green."

Audubon assembled a team of Green Building Council affiliates to create the Audubon Center at Debs Park. The building was designed by EHDD Architects, and built by TG Construction. The LEED documentation and submission was handled by Soltierra LLC. BOVIS Lend Lease acted as owner's representative, and more than 20 other firms provided design and construction services. Campbell and Campbell created the architectural concept and landscape architecture designs.

Publication date: 02/23/2004