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Chino Landmark Awarded Highest Green Building Honor

Landscape architects ima+design were part of the design team that developed the environmental sustainability program for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) headquarters building in Chino, Calif., which has earned the agency a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

Only three other projects worldwide have earned the LEED Platinum 2.0 Certification, including two other California projects: the Audubon Center at Debs Park in Los Angeles, and the Natural Resource Defense Council in Santa Monica. It's reported that IEUA is the first to achieve LEED Platinum with a project cost below industry standards and the only public agency with a LEED Platinum facility.

The award is based on the assessment of the environmental sustainability of the building design. Of the 52 LEED Platinum points earned by the two-building, 66,000 sq. ft. IEUA project, 15 were attributed to the area development plan designed by William Schulz and Ann Yamashiro Cutner of Irvine-based ima+design. Highlights of the program include the use of reclaimed water from IEUA's treatment facilities for toilets, irrigation and exterior nonpotable water demands; detaining the 25-year storm event, stormwater treatment using biofiltration, porous concrete and pavers, and light pollution reduction.

"We are passionate about the use of innovative engineering technologies that meet energy demand with renewable sources," said Mr. Schulz. "We hope the design of IEUA is an aesthetic and economic inspiration for all private and public development," he added.

"Our goal was to advocate sustainable principles and bring in a landmark project under budget," explained Ms. Cutner, who was recently named to the organizing committee of the Orange County chapter of the USGBC. "It's an ideal collaborative model between an enlightened client and a determined design team," she asserted.

The IEUA headquarters is also one of the largest public landscapes in Southern California to use California-friendly plants and to have integrated state-of-the-art storm water management on the property. Planting more than 10,000 native and drought tolerant trees, shrubs and ground cover throughout the site further reduces water consumption.

"IEUA is thrilled to be recognized for its leadership in environmental sustainability and design," enthused Eliza Jane Whitman, IEUA's project manager. "Our facility incorporates many of the most innovative and progressive technologies addressing urban sustainability in the work place at a price of less than $160 per sq. ft. for the building envelope and the hardscape/softscape. Our administrative headquarters demonstrates how using recycled building materials and state-of-the-art energy efficiency can create a better environment, save on our electricity bills, save water, improve staff productivity and contribute to the restoration of native landscapes."

IEUA's engineering and construction management staff and ima+design collaborated with building architects La Canada Design, LEED consultant CTG Energetics and the general contractor, TG Construction, to ensure sustainability standards were coordinated.

ima+design has an international portfolio of landscape architecture designs for public, private and civic clients. The firm has more than 50 million sq. ft. under design development and construction, including retail, housing, urban streetscapes, resorts and campus communities.

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December 10, 2019, 7:49 pm PDT

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