Commission OKs ‘Green’ Headquarters for Port
New complex to meet high environmental standards
December 17, 2008
To replace obsolete facilities, a new administration and maintenance complex for the Port of Long Beach that will achieve a high level of environmental building standards was approved Monday, December 15, by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.
The complex will be designed to achieve gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, reflecting the Port’s commitment and investment in sustainable green building design, construction and operation. Energy efficiency, water conservation and recycled materials will be built into the nine-story headquarters and adjacent maintenance facility, on a 17-acre site immediately east of the current Port headquarters. For example, at a Gold LEED level, the administration building will be 24 percent more energy efficient than a traditional building.
“This new complex will be a beacon for high environmental standards, and give the Port the forward-looking facilities it needs to continue to provide a high level of service to the Long Beach community as an economic resource and environmental steward in the decades ahead,” said Nick Sramek, Vice President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.
The project will replace an aging Port headquarters that lacks adequate space for current operations and is in need of more than $80 million in seismic upgrades. With the new complex, administration and maintenance will be adjacent, rather than two miles apart as they are now.
With Monday’s approval of the final environmental impact report (EIR) and development permit, the Port will work to complete the design and aim for a construction start date in spring 2010. The building should be completed in 2013. The $295 million project will generate 150 to 200 construction jobs during the two- to three-year construction period.
The new administration and maintenance complex will include public amenities such as public meeting rooms, an outdoor amphitheater, a private garden for special functions and a public café with outdoor seating.
The Port does not receive taxpayer revenue to operate and no taxpayer funds will be used for design or construction of the new complex. Most of the Port’s funding is generated by leasing the Port’s terminals to private terminal operators.
Environmental features of the new complex will include:
• Extensive use of natural light to reduce electricity use
• Increased energy efficiency
• Systems to increase water conservation
• Use of recycled or renewable materials for construction
• Accommodations for alternative transportation
• Sustainable landscaping and storm water treatment
• Green construction practices such as low-emission construction equipment
The LEED program, managed by the U.S. Green Building Council, offers an independent certification of the most sustainable buildings in the country.