Cali sun makes Emerson LA green
By Erin Connolly ’15
January 07, 2014
When students walk into the eye-catchingly new Emerson College Los Angeles in fewer than five days, on January 12, they will enter one of the most environmentally friendly buildings on Sunset Boulevard.
The exterior of Emerson College Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard on January 3, 2014. (Photo by Cara Ostrow)
Emerson Los Angeles is on track to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification, which is based on the U.S. Green Building Council’s rating system.
Emerson is reaching this goal by meeting numerous sustainability requirements and applying energy-efficient innovations.
If you look carefully on the exterior of the Emerson Los Angeles building, you will find what looks like hundreds of silver rotating shutters. These sun shades tilt toward the sunlight in order to block out some of the heat. By doing so, the shades reduce the amount of energy needed to cool the building—saving Emerson money on air conditioning costs.
Many of ELA's sun shades are in an open position in this recent photo. (Photo by Cara Ostrow).
Kim Groves, ELA project manager for the architecture firm Morphosis, said the architects visited The Getty Museum in Los Angeles and saw a similar sun shade system in place at the galleries. It is believed that only the Getty and ELA use this technique for energy efficiency in the city of Los Angeles.
Solar Thermal Panels
The solar thermal panels on the roof of the center’s west tower use the sun to heat water. These panels help provide hot water for showers and sinks for student use. This process improves overall energy efficiency by decreasing the building’s consumption of natural gas.
When it rains, the center can make the most of it. A planter on the grounds outside the building collects the storm water runoff from the roof. The planter then filters out pollutants and releases the water into city storm drains as a renewable water source.
A recent view of Emerson College Los Angeles in the evening. (Photo by Cara Ostrow)
While some students may bring their cars to ELA and park in the underground garage, others will use the numerous public transportation options located close by, such as the Hollywood and Vine subway stop about two blocks away.
Subway and bus routes are available on the Metro LA website.
The College is also working with a vehicle-sharing program to reduce the number of cars on the road.
Bike racks and indoor storage are also available and encouraged for students to use.