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Luma Gets LEED; The Simpsons Ride Is Green, Too

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A couple of Earth Day related tidbits to our inbox: First, The South Group or the Mayor's Office (we can't tell the difference anymore) emailed with an update on the fantasticness of Luma - the South Park condo building which was awarded LEED Gold Certification today. On Earth Day, no less! We're heaving with joy. The Mayor popped in to the LEED ceremony, smiled and "unveiled a new Green Building Program (to reduce the use of natural resources, create healthier living environments and minimize the negative impacts of development on ecosystems) and held up the condominium as an example of the kind of environmentally friendly development the community needs." (the presser is after the jump).

Also, today, we received word that Universal Studio's new The Simpson Ride will be environmentally friendly. Via the press release: "The newly minted, environmentally conscious “The Simpsons Ride” represents the largest lighting installation of LED lamps in theme park ride history. The attraction will be illuminated with 2,582 LED lights, expending just 27,675 watts per hour as compared to 82,909 watts consumed per hour by standard incandescent lighting."

Good as Gold for Going Green: Luma Awarded LEED Gold Certification on Earth Day
The South Group captures another sustainable first for Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA – April 22, 2008 – The Earth – and downtown Los Angeles – just got a little greener.

During a special Earth Day ceremony held today at the city’s newest “green”-certified residential building, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled a new Green Building Program (to reduce the use of natural resources, create healthier living environments and minimize the negative impacts of development on ecosystems) and held up the condominium as an example of the kind of environmentally friendly development the community needs.

The South Group, Los Angeles’ largest and most distinguished eco-friendly residential development company, received the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold designation for its newest residential project Luma, a 19-story high-rise in downtown’s South Park neighborhood. Luma becomes only the second condo in California to receive the Gold designation and joins its sister building Elleven which was LEED Gold certified in October 2007.

The designation also gives The South Collection, consisting of Luma, the soon-to-be-completed Evo and fully occupied Elleven, added status as Los Angeles’ only sustainable high-rise community.

“We continue to raise the bar of what's possible when you build smart, build ‘green,’ and enhance and energize the surrounding neighborhood,” said Tom Cody, principal of The South Group. “From the streetscape up, we’ve thoughtfully designed Luma and the South Collection to be sustainably superior and reign as the city’s model green community.”

Mayor Villaraigosa said, “Luma and The South Collection are leading the way by taking initiative to build green in this City. With our new Green Building Ordinance, others will join them in continuing to improve the quality of life downtown and show what can be accomplished when we seriously embrace and incorporate sustainable building practices.”

Awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED Gold is a landmark sustainability award and the second highest rating a green building can receive. It is
judged by a comprehensive scorecard that awards points for everything from promoting alternative transportation and energy conservation, to sustainable materials selection and the use of healthier interior finishes. The more green components a building has, the more points it receives.

Luma and its 236 residences were designed and constructed to require less energy and fewer natural resources.

Highlights of Luma’s Gold LEED certification include:

* Educational outreach to residents and retail tenants, providing a Green Handbook that outlines sustainable principles, practices and opportunities within the home.
* Continuous communication with the city of Los Angeles and tours of the project to various groups from the development community throughout development, showcasing Luma as a model of sustainability.
* Placing the South community within a public transportation hub and encouraging car-less options such as cycling and use of the nearby LA Metro.
* The purchase of “green tags” to offset the carbon emissions associated with the building’s estimated energy use for the first year.
* Extensive use of recycled content and locally-manufactured materials, as well as a successful on-site recycling program.
* Operable floor-to-ceiling windows, providing an abundant use of natural light and fresh air circulation.
* Very low VOC (volatile organic compounds)-emitting materials and finishes such as paints, caulk, glues and carpet systems.
* Highly efficient energy systems for space heating and cooling, resulting in a substantial 30% savings over Title 24 2001 standards.
* Water efficient fixtures such as dual-flush toilets, and efficient landscape irrigation.
* Storm water planters along Hope Street, cleaning storm water from the sidewalk and easing the burden on the city sewer system by allowing storm water to infiltrate during heavy rains.
* A building-wide green housekeeping program.

Luma’s LEED Gold certification means an annual energy savings equivalent to:

* Taking 57 cars off L.A. roads and freeways
* A reduction of 281 metric tons in CO2 emissions
* And conserving over 751,000 gallons of precious water resources – equal to 37,578 showers.

Environmental savings also were achieved during the construction of Luma, with 3,167 tons of debris diverted from the city’s landfill and recycled.

The South Group’s progressive, eco-conscious approach to urban planning continues to
take shape at The South Collection. Upon completion later this summer, the third
building, Evo, is expected to be Silver LEED-certified. All-green and ultra-chic, 23-story Evo consists of 311 full-appointed residences featuring high-end amenities, a 6th floor pool terrace and rooftop “Two-Forty” lounge. More information is at

About The South Group
The South Group brings together two Portland, Oregon-based developers, Gerding Edlen and Williams, Dame & Atkins, and is distinguished by its history of innovative, smart growth, environmentally friendly, high-density neighborhood developments.

The South Group is the leading developer of new condominium projects in downtown Los Angeles, with more than 1,700 housing units planned or underway in a new high-rise community called “South.” The properties continue The South Group’s goal of using an organic approach to urban transformation, collaborating with public and private partners to create neighborhoods that blend quality housing, vibrant street life and new business opportunities. For more information, visit

Gerding Edlen currently has 37 other LEED projects, either certified or in process

(4 Platinum, 23 Gold and 10 Silver) – believed to be the highest number of any private developer in the nation. Widely respected for its holistic approach to sustainability and the environment, Gerding Edlen considers the social, as well as economic aspects of real estate development. Williams, Dame & Atkins is also a pioneer in sustainability, leading the development of Portland’s South Waterfront under the new LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot Program.

About the USGBC and LEED

The LEED green building rating system is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance sustainable buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council, which administers the rating system, is a coalition of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Visit for more information.

Luma South

1100 S. Hope Ave., Los Angeles, CA Visit Website