The Robert Redford Building for NRDC, Santa Monica, CA

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. For its new, 15,000-sf headquarters in Santa Monica, California, the NRDC selected a site in the heart of Santa Monica to take advantage of its public transportation, pedestrian access and unrivaled mild climate.

Syska Hennessy Group’s sustainable engineering design team helped the NRDC rebuild the 1920s building, renamed to honor actor and conservationist Robert Redford. We focused on conserving natural resources and utilizing environmentally responsible materials during design. To further serve the public, the NRDC planned an environmental learning center on the ground floor to educate visitors about climate change.

Sustainable strategies included:

  • Daylighting and efficient lighting with automatic dimming controls.
  • Waterless urinals and “dual-flush” toilets.
  • Combined on-site greywater and stormwater collection, treatment, storage and reuse system.
  • Radiant heating.
  • Rooftop photovoltaic array.

The headquarters uses 60-percent less water and 56-percent less energy than a standard building of this size. Up to 90-percent of materials from deconstruction of the original building were reused or recycled, and nearly 20-percent of electricity demand is met by rooftop photovoltaic panels. NRDC offsets the remainder of its energy consumption with renewable energy credits (RECs), helping the facility achieve a net zero emissions goal.

In June 2003, this building was one of the first to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest certification available for sustainable design.

Los Angeles Business Council, Architectural Award, 2004
Southern California Development Forum (SCDF), Outstanding Achievement Award, 2004
Congress for the New Urbanism, Charter Award, 2004

LEED Status
LEED© Platinum

15,000 sf

Natural Resource Defense Council

Moule & Polyzoides, Architects and Urbanists

TG Construction, Inc

Sustainable design
Net zero energy
High-efficiency heating and cooling
Adaptive reuse
Extensive use of natural ventilation
Stormwater treatment, retention, recovery
High-efficiency HCFC-free air conditioning units
6-KW roof-mounted PV unit
Indoor air-quality management
Displacement ventilation system