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L.A. Metro shop building achieves LEED certification

The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the Los Angeles Foothill Gold Line Operations Campus main shop building in Monrovia, Calif., with its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification, the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority announced yesterday.

An interior shot of the facility.
Photo: Steve Hymon/L.A. Metro

The three-story, 132,000-square-foot building achieved a 35 percent reduction in water usage and a 32.5 percent improvement in energy performance compared with other facilities of its kind, construction authority officials said in a press release.

The operations campus serves the $2 billion extension of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Gold Line light-rail route. An 11.5-mile segment of that extension opened last month.

The U.S. Green Building Council took into account only the main building's sustainability practices in awarding the certification, although "sustainability measures were incorporated throughout the 24-acre maintenance and operations facility," officials noted.

The main building features an on-site 714-panel, 178.5-kilowatt solar panel array that generates nearly one third of its energy needs, with excess energy made available to the local power grid. In addition, the main shop has solar-tracking skylights that move with the sun to maximize use of natural light.

The building houses offices and training facilities for 200 employees, a yard control room to manage all train activities, and repair and maintenance shops to service up to 84 light-rail vehicles, construction authority officials said.

Additional sustainability features incorporated into the overall 24-acre facility include a comprehensive stormwater management system to capture rainfall; use of recycled materials for half of the building materials used on site; and locally sourced track ballast, aggregate and concrete.

"We've shown that it is feasible to incorporate sustainability features into a facility of this magnitude without significantly impacting the construction budget and schedule," said authority Chief Executive Officer Habib Balian. "Our hope is that this will be a model for other, similar facilities."

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