The Lakewood, California-based Water Replenishment District (WRD) announced Aug. 6 that its Albert Robles Center (ARC) for Water Recycling and Environmental Learning has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest rating offered to environmentally sustainable buildings. Only 5.7 percent of LEED projects in the U.S. have achieved this designation.
The WRD is the largest groundwater agency in California, managing and protecting local groundwater resources for four million residents.
The LEED program rates the environmental sustainability of projects based on a points system. There are four certification categories, which include Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. ARC, located in Pico Rivera, California, achieved a Platinum certification for its innovative design which was constructed to optimize the use of water and energy.
The facility, opened in August 2019, produces 14 million gallons a day of advanced treated water. This water is used to replenish groundwater resources that provide 50 percent of the drinking water for over four million residents in southern Los Angeles County. ARC features 995 solar panels that reduce carbon dioxide emissions, outdoor landscaping at ARC saves water costs by 60 percent through a low-flow irrigation system using recycled water, and specially designed windows minimize the need for electric lighting and create energy savings.
Additionally, at least 20 percent of the building’s construction is derived from recycled content and over 20 percent of those materials were locally sourced within 500 miles of the facility. Through strategic planning, WRD was able to reduce waste and maximize recycling during the construction of the facility by diverting 75 percent of construction waste from landfill.
“WRD is excited to receive a Platinum certification from LEED for our Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling and Environmental Learning,” WRD President Vera Robles DeWitt says. “Many eco-conscious decisions were made during the construction of ARC. This project will serve millions of people through our water recycling facility and educational exhibits.”