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Sustainable Cafeteria Sets New Standards at Los Angeles Federal Building
December 2013 – A new sustainable cafeteria has opened at the 300 N. Los Angeles Federal Building designed by the architecture firm Interactive Resources for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
Resource conservation was a primary concern from the beginning of the project. The energy-efficient kitchen contains 75 pieces of Energy Star rated commercial food service equipment. The use of process water is minimized throughout, including an energy-efficient and water-efficient dishwashing system used in tandem with a composting system.
The project incorporates the latest advances in energy-efficient lighting and energy conserving controls, including dimmable fluorescent lamps for general illumination and LED technology for accent lighting, sconces and pendants to provide ambiance at very low energy cost. The greatest contribution to energy conservation from a lighting perspective may actually come from the controls, which provide for programmable scenes integrated with occupancy sensors and day lighting sensors. This allows the system to be fine-tuned for optimum output and energy conservation based on the time of day, outdoor lighting levels and occupancy.
Sustainable materials include recycled countertops, rapidly renewable casework and linoleum flooring, and low-VOC paints and adhesives. The favorite of everyone on the project is the beautiful recycled crushed glass countertops in the servery. And, as if to prove its recycled past, there is one spot where old label is visible: it says, “vodka.”
Architect Charles Beavers, AIA said, “We were attracted to this project by its challenging sustainable goals, and by its dramatic location, which we felt offered a completely different experience for users than anything we had seen in any other federal or state buildings. With seating on three sides of the mezzanine overlooking the entrance lobby, diners visually interact with the lobby.”
The cafeteria includes a full commercial kitchen, exhibition cooking line, servery with coffee/smoothie bar, soup and salad bars. Operations will incorporate healthy eating choices, and use organic alternatives and locally-sourced food products. A recycling and composting program will minimize waste going to landfills.
Strict controls during construction defined by a construction waste management plan diverted 95 percent of construction and demolition debris from disposal in landfills. The plan included the onsite sorting of waste for removal to recyclers and the reuse of materials, such as the reuse of marble panels carefully removed from lobby walls for use inside the cafeteria. This project was designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification for commercial interiors.
The cafeteria remodel project was designed in collaboration with the U.S. General Services Administration, the landlord at the Federal Building; Interactive Resources was the architect and structural engineer of record; Veteran’s Construction Group, Inc., the general contractor; RAS Design Group prepared the food service design; Brokaw Consulting provided electrical engineering services; 15,000 Inc. provided the mechanical and plumbing engineering services, HYT Corporation provided Fire Life/Safety services and Silva Cost Estimating, who provided cost estimating services. This project team has previously worked together on several other sustainable projects, many for GSA.
About Interactive Resources
Celebrating its 40 years in business — Interactive Resources has provided design excellence in architectural design, planning and structural engineering services. The firm is located in the historic district of Point Richmond, California, and its staff of twenty includes seven architects (several who are LEED Accredited Professionals)
In addition to conventional architectural services, the firm also offers specialty services that include diagnostics, forensic and investigative services, roofing, building code analysis and compliance, building assessments, historic preservation, computer drafting, accessibility/
Interactive Resources has been providing architectural and engineering services for GSA for over twenty years. The wide array of projects for GSA include: tenant improvements for federal agencies; security upgrades; roofing and accessibility upgrades; forensic architectural and engineering investigations and repair; roofing upgrades; program development studies; feasibility studies and master plans.