Cherokee Studios

•April 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Cherokee Studios


  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Building type(s): Other, Commercial office, Retail, Multi-unit residential
  • Area: 2,970 m2
  • Completed April 2010

Let’s start discussing what is GREEN about Cherokee Studios!


During this process, the architects and energy consultant had worked closely to minimise the total energy used and, at the same time, maximising the use of natural aspects, such as wind and the sun. In order to material efficient, the engineers also tried their best to prevent ‘over-designing’. As the result, the design had successfully saved them miles of electrical wiring, thousands of feet of plumbing pipe, and tons of steel reinforcing and concrete.


Not only the design, but also the construction phase of this building was implemented to be as  GREEN as possible! A waste management plan was given by the architects to the constructors so as to recycle the construction waste. Consequently, 80% of the construction waste was recycled! Moreover, all the machinery involved in the construction was fueled with B100 biodiesel. What is impressive about this biodiesel was that, it was made from recycled restaurant oil.

Construction Period

Water Management

The green roof implemented to the Studios has operated successfully to deliver 100% of rainwater back to the ground. In addition, the green roof also helped to purify the water from pollutants. The type of plants chosen for the green roof are native and drought tolerant plants. Drip irrigation was also applied to reduce water usage. Furthermore, all water-using fixtures in Cherokee Studios are low-flow and dual-flush toilets are used. Only appliances with Energy Star or better were installed as they are energy efficient as well as water conserving. Even the clothes washer types were purposely chosen to use less water than traditional models.

Green Roof


In terms of energy efficiency, solar panel was applied to provide the building with electrical energy. Besides having green roof and solar panel on the roof, the building is also covered with blown-in cellulose insulation. Double-glazed low-e windows are chosen for the windows. Apart from having all the passive designs, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system was installed for the shared heating and cooling  system. This VRF system allowed to reduce 50% of cooling and heating loads by moving the heat from one part of the building to another. Energy Star appliances, tankless water heaters (EF 83), and fluorescent lighting are also significant sources of savings. The traction elevator uses about the same power as a hairdryer (30 amps). Finally, 11.5% (30,000 kWh) of the energy is generated onsite with solar photovoltaic power, and 50% of the building’s grid energy comes from renewable energy via renewable power purchases. Furthermore, High-efficiency LED and electric lighting, photo and occupancy sensors, and natural daylighting minimize energy use. Solar-ventilation chimneys, operable windows, and ceiling fans minimize the need for mechanical cooling.

Materials and Resources

Most of the materials and resources used for this project came from recycled products. These products had to satisfy some criteria such as high level of recycled content, low chemical emissions, and use of rapidly renewable materials. The choice of materials used has also taken into account  the effect on indoor air quality, long-term maintenance, and durability.  Moreover, the building also has facility that provide the residents with services such as sorting and collection of recycled papers, metal products, and plastics. Only 100% FSC-certified wood products were selected to be used for cabinets and flooring.





Total project cost (land excluded): $6,250,000

Primary Design Team Members

Lawrence Scarpa
BROOKS + SCARPA (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)

Angela Brooks
BROOKS + SCARPA (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)

Daniel Safarik
BROOKS + SCARPA (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)
Architect (Marketing Director)
Santa Monica, California

John Pao
Broad Pao
Structural engineer
Vancouver, British Columbia

Albert Bicol
Cobalt Engineering
Mechanical engineer
Los Angeles, California

Brian Crommie
JT Builders
Los Angeles, California

Lawrence Scarpa
BROOKS + SCARPA (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)
Interior designer

Albert Bicol
Cobalt Engineering
Electrical engineer

Albert Bicol
Cobalt Engineering
Energy consultant

Steve Edwards

Greg Reitz
Commissioning agent

Greg Reitz
Environmental building consultant
Culver City, California

Source: The American Institute of Architects


2011 Top Ten Green Award Winners

•April 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Well, for my first post, I will share with you a list of top 10 green buildings for 2011 according to The American Institute of Architects.

2011 Top Ten Award Winners:

  • Cherokee Studios (Brooks + Scarpa) Los Angeles, CA

Cherokee Studios

  • First Unitarian (The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc.) Madison, WI

First Unitarian at Madison

  • Greensburg Schools (BNIM) Greensburg, KS

Kiowa County School

  • High Tech High Chula Vista (Studio E Architects) Chula Vista, CA

High Tech High Chula Vista

  • Livestrong Foundation (Lake|Flato) Austin, TX

Livestrong Foundation

  • LOTT Building (The Miller Hull Partnership) Olympia, WA

LOTT Building

  • OS House Racine (Johnsen Schmaling Architects) Racine, WI

OS House Racine

  • Research Support NREL (RNL) Golden, CO

Research Support NREL

  • Step Up on 5th (Brooks + Scarpa) Santa Monica, CA

Step Up on 5th

  • Vancouver Convention Center West (LMN Architects) Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver Convention Center West

I would like to discuss more about each of the designs and concepts applied but due to time constraint, I’ll try my best to post each one of them everyday.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you have a great time.

Source: The American Institute of Architects

Hello world!

•April 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Hi everyone! 😀

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Iwan Santhio Wijaya. You can call me Iwan.

Currently, I’m still studying in University of Melbourne under Bachelor of Science majoring in Civil System.

Well, I’m really interested in green constructions and their concepts. I’m still learning to become a professional. Therefore, I think it’s a good idea to share what we learn and discover with the rest of the world. At some point, we may as well have a little discussion regarding green constructions!

So, if you have any inquiries or ideas that you wanna share, do not hesitate to contact me via my email. I’ll be more than happy to receive your emails.

Anyway, to cut the story short, I will start posting interesting ideas and discoveries as soon as possible. See you guys around! 🙂


Iwan SW