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Marine Operations Building (MOB)

Marine Operations BuildingThe Marine Operations Building is a two-story, 10,000-square-foot facility that houses management and longshore worker office activities for wharf operations. Additionally, it supports the labor processing for International Longshore Warehouse Union workers checking into and out of work. It has supervisors’ offices and other facilities for stevedoring operations.

The building is oriented with the long axis in the east-west direction, maximizing the ability to control solar heat and helping to increase energy efficiency. Superintendent office spaces on the second floor will have direct views across the slip to the ships being worked, which contributes to daylight and views credits.

The first and second floor mechanical systems consist of a rooftop unit (packaged unit) with variable-frequency drive (VFD) fans and air-cooled digital compressors. The overhead air-distribution system is supplied by multiple variable air volume (VAV) boxes fed with supply air from the rooftop unit. Each zone is provided with a thermostat for easy access by occupants. Multiple zones with the reheat coils are designed for the greatest comfort. The rooftop unit will have an economizer utilizing outdoor air for cooling whenever outside air is cooler than indoor air. All of these strategies contribute to LEED credits by improving the building’s energy efficiency and thermal comfort.

After initially designing the building for a LEED Silver certification, the project management team decided to pursue a LEED Gold certification. For a concise summary of the sustainable features, download the building’s case study. In order to achieve the LEED Gold rating and thus exceed the minimum Port standard, the building had to meet even higher environmental standards regarding design, construction and operation. To push the project from Silver to Gold, the project team identified additional credits that required installing ultra-low-flow faucets, purchasing green power credits, pursuing enhanced commissioning and providing green education.

The Marine Operations Building at Middle Harbor – an example of the Port's commitment to maximize sustainable practice in its new buildings – is designed and constructed to achieve a LEED Gold-level certification under the LEED for New Construction v3 2009 Rating System, which maintains the following credit categories:

Sustainable Site

Choosing a building's site and managing that site during construction are important considerations for all projects seeking certification. Credits in this section focus primarily on how the building and site impact the ecosystem in terms of storm water runoff, carbon footprint associated with work commute, heat island effect and light pollution. Many points can be easily achievable for projects located in urban environments near public amenities and public transportation, but this project is located on an active terminal and as a result many of the sustainable site credits were not possible. For example, riding bikes on an active terminal is prohibited, so it was not possible to include a bicycle storage and changing room (SSc4.2) and earn that credit.

The following credits were achieved by the project:

  • Activity Pollution Prevention Plan: A storm water management plan was implemented using acceptable Best Management Practices (BMPs) to capture and treat rainfall runoff prior to discharge into the harbor during construction. (SSp1)
  • Site Selection: This credit is awarded because the site is located on a previously developed site. (SSc1)
  • Brownfield Redevelopment: The project is not located on a Brownfield site but the project was able to achieve the credit using a passive methane-mitigation system. This credit was not needed for the initial Silver certification but proved to be very important in order to achieve Gold certification. (SSc3)
  • Alternative Transportation – Low-Emitting & Fuel-Efficient Vehicles: A central parking lot for the Marine Operations Building (MOB), Power Crane Maintenance Shop (PCMS), and Alternative Maintenance Facility (AMF) was provided at the MOB. The parking lot provides preferred parking for low-emitting vehicles for 5 percent of the total vehicle parking capacity. (SSc4.3)
  • Alternative Transportation – Parking Capacity: Similar to the previous credit, SSc4.3, the central parking lot at the Marine Operations Building includes preferred parking for carpool spaces for 5 percent of the total vehicle parking capacity. (SSc4.4)
  • Heat Island Effect – Roof: A white roof is provided which reduces the heat island effect. This effect is the recognized phenomenon of increased temperature in microclimates with roofs that are predominantly constructed with dark materials that trap and absorb heat throughout the day. (SSc7.2)

Water Efficiency

Water Efficiency is a key focus in Southern California. The water efficiency credits focus on overall reduction in potable and nonpotable water usage for both inside and outside the building. As with the Sustainable Sites credit category, some points are difficult to achieve on active terminals. For example, four points for reducing irrigation are not achievable because 5 percent of the site did not contain vegetation and no points are awarded for simply not providing irrigation.

The following was achieved for the project.

  • Water Use Reduction: The project reduced water use within building utilizing fixtures with automatic sensors, low-flow aerators, dual-flush toilets and pint-flush urinals. In total the building will reduce its water consumption by 40 percent, which is an estimated savings of more than 59,900 gallons of potable water per year. (WEc3)
Energy and Atmosphere

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings consume approximately 57 percent of energy and 68 percent of the electricity produced in the United States. Energy and atmosphere LEED credits focus on reductions in energy consumption, reductions in pollution and enhancing the comfort of building occupants. When pursuing strategies that benefit energy performance, it’s important to consider the synergies with the Indoor Environmental Quality credits.

The following credits have been achieved:

  • Fundamental Commissioning: The project provided fundamental commissioning, which verified that HVAC systems and associated controls, lighting controls, domestic hot water and renewable energy systems were constructed according to the design and owner requirements. (EAp1)
  • Refrigerant Management: The project did not use CFC-based refrigerants in HVAC systems. (EAp3)
  • Optimize Energy Performance: The initial design anticipated a 14 percent improvement in energy performance. The solar photovoltaic panel-covered parking helped the project reduce energy consumption by 50 percent, achieving all available points for these two credits. Strategies that contributed toward building performance included building orientation, glazing, insulation, high-efficiency interior and exterior lighting and high-efficiency variable air volume and temperature heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, with economizer-control and demand-control ventilation. (EAp2 & EAc1)
  • On-site Renewable Energy: Solar panel-covered parking at the Marine Operations Building (MOB) parking lot contributed to the LEED effort for the MOB, Power Crane Maintenance Shop (PCMS) and Alternative Maintenance Facility (AMF). There is enough PV to complete offset the annual energy consumption of these buildings; however, only a percentage was used in order to maximize the Energy and Atmosphere points. By only using a percentage of the total energy, the energy generated from the photovoltaics may help future LEED projects. (EAc2)
  • Enhanced Commissioning: In addition to fundamental conditioning, a third-party commissioning authority provided design reviews and a system manual and will revisit the project after a year of operation to ensure the building systems continue to function correctly. (EAc3)
  • Green Power: 35 percent of the building’s electricity will be offset by renewably generated electricity for a period of two years. (EAc6)

Material and Resources

This credit category focuses on environmental attributes of building materials since so much waste is generated during construction and operations and as a result of building material manufacturing. Credits achieved in this section involved building material selection and contractor procurement requirements that were integrated into the specifications.

  • Storage and Collection of Recyclables: A recycling strategy plan was developed for the entire project that includes easily accessible dedicated areas for the collection and storage of materials for recycling. Materials include paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals. (MRp1)
  • Construction Waste Management: The project reduced construction waste by 99 percent. This high diversion rate was largely due to the removal of existing hardscape that was completely diverted from landfill. (MRc2)
  • Recycled Content and MRc5 Regional Materials: The building products were specified with requirements for recycled content and requirements for the product to be produced, manufactured and harvested within 500 miles of the project site. Products such as structural steel and concrete are often the most important. In total, 31 percent of the total building materials was made with recycled content and 22 percent of the total building materials was harvested and manufactured locally. (MRc4)
  • Certified Wood: This credit is based on a certification that verifies wood products were manufactured from wood that was harvested in the most sustainable manner. In total 86 percent of wood in the building was certified with the Forest Stewardship Council. (MRc7)

Indoor Environmental Quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans spend about 90 percent of their day indoors, where the air quality can be significantly worse than outside. These credits focus on preventing sick building syndrome and creating spaces that nurture and are comfortable to their occupants. They focus on building materials and components, air contaminants, air circulation and quality and visual comfort. These credits have synergies with the Energy and Atmosphere credits.

  • Provided additional outside air helping to improve indoor air quality. (IEQp1)
  • Smoking: Prohibited within 25 feet of any building opening. (IEQp2)
  • The HVAC system also includes indoor CO2 monitoring and outdoor airflow monitoring. (IEQc1)
  • Increased Ventilation: Provided additional outside air helping to improve indoor air quality. (IEQc2)
  • Construction Indoor Air Quality Management (IEQc3.1 & 3.2)
  • Low-Emitting Materials: Selected materials containing low volatile organic compound (VOC) levels to reduce noxious odors for building occupants. Carpets, flooring, paints, adhesives, and other construction materials have low VOC emissions. (IEQc4.1-4.4)
  • Indoor Chemical & Pollutant Source Control: The building includes entryway system and dedicated exhaust systems to remove dust from footwear and control sources of indoor pollutants. (IEQc5)
  • The building provides daylight and or views to the vast majority of workstations and regularly occupied spaces within the building; however, the project couldn’t meet the LEED Requirements. (IEQc8.1&8.2)
Innovation in Design

Credits in this category can be achieved either through exemplary performance or using innovative strategies. Exemplary Performance credits are recommended as they are typically easier to document; however, projects can only achieve three points using this approach. The project maximized all three exemplary performance pathways through energy performance, on-site renewable energy and construction waste management. The project is achieving an additional Innovation in Design credit through a green education program.

Regional Priority

These credits were selected by the USGBC's regional councils, chapters and affiliates. Essentially these credits have been deemed to have a greater importance for a given area based on energy goals, water resources or socioeconomic considerations. Regional Priority credits effectively mean that projects can earn additional points for efforts already in place to meet other credit categories. This project achieved two out of the four possible Regional Priority credits through on-site renewable energy and water use reduction.

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