California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Sustainable (Green) Building

Energy Resource Center

Energy Resource Center

Location: 9240 E. Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA
Type of building: Educational Facility
Size (Sq. ft.): 45,000
Renovation into a combination conference and information center on current energy-efficient technologies, which focus on cost-savings and environmental conservation.
Date completed: February 1, 1995
Cost: 7.9 Million
Owner: Southern California Gas Company
Designed By: Wolff/Lang/Christopher Architects, Inc.

Sustainable Building Strategies:

Approximately 80 percent of construction materials, interior furnishings, and displays were recycled or the products of recycled materials or manufacturing processes using renewable resources. This building exceeds Title 24 energy code by 45 percent. The Energy Resource Center demonstrates modern energy technologies, including HVAC systems, indoor air quality and industrial processes.

Information Contact: To arrange a tour call (562) 803-7500. For other information, contact Frank Spasaro, Facility Manager, (562) 803-7400.

Web Site: A Case for the Energy Resource Center

Examples of Reused Materials

  • Ceiling Tiles: Undamaged ceiling tiles were cleaned and trimmed down to 11x24 inches.

Other Reused Products
The following used materials from the old buildings were either used in construction of the ERC, sent to recycling centers, or given to builders who could use them:

  • Asphalt
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Concrete
  • Wood
  • Porcelain plumbing fixtures
  • Debris
  • Lamp ballasts
  • Paper

Examples of Recycled-Content Products

  • Wood floor: The entire wood floor in the Energy Resource Center's reception area was milled from Douglas fir beams and posts from the old Banana Republic warehouse in San Francisco. (Oregon Lumber, 800-824-5671.)
  • Carpeting: Tile carpeting featured at the ERC uses 50 percent recycled material in the face of the carpeting. At the end of the carpet's useful life, the manufacturer will reclaim the product for recycling. The carpet can be recycled because the structured backing allows the carpet face to be separated from it. (Interface Flooring, 800-336-0225.)
  • Reinforcement bars: These are made from unique sources--confiscated weapons and used oil filters. (Tamco, 909-899-0660.)
  • Staircase: Although modified to meet safety codes, the staircase has already seen a lot of action. It was salvaged from the set of blockbuster movie "Disclosure." (Warner Brothers.)
  • Accent wall: The ERC's reception area features an internal wall made from recycled aircraft aluminum and Gridcore made from 100 percent recycled fiber. (Peter Carlson Enterprises, 818-767-0791.)
  • Entry walkway: Scraps of PVC pipe, used by the gas company to transport natural gas, were added to the concrete mix to add color.
  • Desk countertop: The decorative countertop of the reception desk is made of 100 percent recycled glass. (Glass Tech, 310-202-6002.)
  • Panels for exhibits: People get their money's worth when they see an exhibit at this facility! The ERC features several displays which are mounted on Gridcore made from federal reserve notes.

Examples of Energy-Efficient Measures

  • State-of-the art lighting: The overhead lighting at the facility will use 1 watt/sq. ft. (compared to 1.5 watts used in most buildings). This upgraded lighting at the facility is projected to save $21,000 to $30,000 annually in electricity.
  • Use of old facility: By using the old facility, the gas company estimates that they saved $3.2 million in land, utility infrastructure, and building material costs. (Design and construction costs totaled $7.9 million.)

Energy Resource Center Case Study: Gas Company Recycles Itself and Pilots Energy-Efficient, Recycled Product Showcase

Note: The identification of individuals, companies and products in these materials does not constitute endorsement by the CalRecycle and is provided for informational purposes only. CalRecycle is distributing this information in an effort to increase public awareness and knowledge about this important topic.

Last updated: August 22, 2014
Green Building http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/GreenBuilding/
Greg Dick: Gregory.Dick@calrecycle.ca.gov  (916) 341-6489