Accepting the Living Building Challenge’s
The 50,200 ft2 Santa Monica City Services Building is a modern extension to the existing City Hall and will house state of the art, energy efficient civic offices.
BuroHappold Engineering is providing integrated engineering and consulting services to ensure the new office building meets Living Building Challenge™ criteria. These are the most rigorous performance standards in the built environment, surpassing even the highest LEED certification requirements, which demand that a building actually makes positive contributions to its environment as opposed to merely lessening its negative impact.
Our engineers responded with a passive approach to design that proposes to make the most of all available natural resources. For example, we have streamlined the building’s electricity requirements so that they can all be met through a photovoltaic array on the roof. In addition, we minimized heating and cooling loads by making strategic use of both daylight and natural ventilation.
We also designed two separate water strategies that will collectively allow all the building’s needs to be met by water harvested on site.
The first is a system that captures and treats rainwater for potable use throughout the building, which will be supplemented by a ground well with reverse osmosis water treatment for top-up during low rainfall years. The second captures greywater and condensate from the air handling units, which will then be used for on site irrigation.
Kim Fiffer, Associate
By incorporating these and numerous other sustainable strategies into their design model, our engineers have shown that the project is on track to secure Living Building Challenge’s certification, and become a shining example of sustainable design.
Services and approach
When we integrate our specialist teams around an approach, the benefits to the client multiply