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City Hall East Living Building

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City Hall East, aspires to maximize resource efficiency through tracking the Living Building Challenge (LBC) framework – the highest standard for sustainable building design with goal alignment to long-range Council commitments to carbon neutrality, water self-sufficiency and zero waste. City Hall East will be water self-sufficient and energy independent with almost zero dependence on City resources and infrastructure. It will demonstrate that a paradigm shift from buildings which are huge resource consumers to buildings as resource producers is not just an idea but a reality. City Hall East will show the region and the world what is possible.  

• City Hall campus updates offers a one-stop services hub to better serve the community.
• Eliminates eight private leases and consolidates municipal operations onto city-owned campus.
• Updates both economically and environmentally advantageous being cash positive in year 16
and resource efficient with no utility bills.
• Resilience & sustainability: essential services building with enhanced structural integrity and
redundant building systems to serve the public in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

• Exemplifying the future of green building as a model for regenerative design; with sustainability
goals of water self-sufficiency, zero waste, and carbon neutrality.
• Harvests all energy and water required for operation directly onsite.
• First-ever municipal Living Building Challenge certification.
• Urban agriculture plantings of edible plants; connection with nature, visually and physically

Energy Strategy:
• Photovoltaic (PV) approx. 291 kW DC rooftop and solar shade structure array.
Passive Systems
• Automated windows maximize natural ventilation.
• Weather station with automated windows and lighting controls.
• High performance glass; adaptive envelope, shading, low maintenance.
• Temperature Range 70 - 78°F.
• Individual control with task lights, desk fans and operable windows.

Active Systems:
• Radiant heating / cooling floors and ceilings.
• Conventional air conditioning for very hot or cold conditions.

Water Strategy:
• Cutting-edge water budget planning slashing normal potable water demand by half.
• Composting toilets use 3 tablespoons (or .0119 gallons) of water instead of 1.6 gallons per flush or 134 times less. This one strategy alone reduced the CSB water consumption by 50%.
• Foam-based composting system for all the lavatories requiring three table spoons of water per flush.
• Project is 1st in the State to treat and reuse rainwater for potable use; rainwater from the roof is captured in a 40,000-gallon cistern (12’ diameter almost 55’ long) located beneath the building; in drought conditions, the rainwater system is supplemented by groundwater well drilled on site.
• All rainwater and groundwater is treated with a combination of cartridge filters and granulated active carbon filters on site.
• Non-potable water uses, a system captures greywater and condensate from the cooling system’s air-handling units, which is treated via a moving bed-membrane bioreactor and used for onsite irrigation.

City Hall East Agriculture Schematics 1
City Hall East Agriculture Schematics 2
City Hall East Agriculture Schematics 3
City Hall East Agriculture Schematics 4

City of Santa Monica, City Project Manager: Amber Richane
City of Santa Monica, City Construction Manager: Tim Purcell
Contractor: Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company
Architect: Frederick Fisher & Partners, Joseph Coriaty, FAIA, and Mariam Mojdehi,
AIA Engineer and Living Building consultant: BuroHappold, David Herd and Julian Parsley, PE

Last updated: Tuesday, 04/21/2020

New Construction Guide (Updated 2020)

Download (pdf)

Energy Reach Code Cost Effectiveness Studies

 ZNE Cost Effectiveness Study
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Matrix 2.0 Alternative Water Guidelines 

 Matrix Document Banner
download (pdf)
New roadmap for decentralized, alternate water supplies - indoor and outdoor non-potable water regulations streamlined for rainwater, graywater, stormwater, blackwater use.

Solution Finding for Net Zero Water 

Sustainability experts from across the nation convened to explore statutory, technological, and engineering barriers to the widespread implementation of water recycling and reuse systems in commercial and residential buildings.
Net Zero Water Booklet
download (pdf)

High Performance Buildings Study

Designing high performance green buildings literally build our sustainable city commitments into the fabric of the community.  
Check out this study analyzing the costs of a prototypical mixed-use project.

High Performance Building Study Cover
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City of Santa Monica © 2020

Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626