Green Building Education
At The Current, environmental responsibility extends beyond the walls and encompasses healthy living and impacts the community at large. The Current is part of a Neighborhood Development that is also pursuing LEED Certification. This 17‐story luxury apartment building made sustainable design and construction practices a priority early on by pursuing the US Green Building Council’s LEED© Rating System.
Below are some of the sustainable high‐performing features at The Current that were incorporated.
- The Current is located on a sustainable site that provides residents with a host of convenient benefits, just steps from the beach, grocery stores, entertainment, parks, restaurants and many other nearby services. Residents can take advantage of alternative transportation by utilizing public transit with accessible within .25 mile, accessing one of the 223 bike storage units (plus 6 for building visitors) located throughout the site to promote healthy living and lessen the dependence on vehicles.
- The Current also encourages low‐emitting, fuel-efficient vehicles and has 10 preferred parking spaces located near the building entrances for these drivers, with vehicle charging stations.
- There are a variety of ways in which The Current has been designed to minimize heat absorption from the sun. All parking is located under cover (rather than on surface asphalt) and light colored pedestrian walkways are two ways in which this was achieved, providing a more natural thermal benefit. Residents of the building have access to several designer‐appointed common areas, all of which are integrated with the outdoors to take advantage of the beautiful climate in Long Beach.
- In a concerted effort to conserve precious water, low‐flow plumbing fixtures were installed and are estimated to save 6,100,000 gallons of water annually, which is almost 30% more water efficient than conventional fixtures. Minimal landscaping and drought tolerant planting material lessens the need for demanding irrigation as well. When irrigation is needed, The Current can utilize its underground water retention and re-use system, thereby further reducing its water needs.
- Buildings are the single largest consumer of energy in the United States, accounting for nearly 75% of all electricity produced (in places like Long Beach) nationwide according to Environmental Protection Agency. Much of this energy is wasted due to inefficiencies and human behavior. Therefore, special attention to energy performance at The Current was prioritized in design strategies. The Current is 14% more efficient than the California State energy code (Title 24), due to energy efficient lighting systems, ENERGY STAR Appliances, low‐E windows and energy conserving ventilation systems. This building was also designed to take advantage of natural ventilation from the ocean breeze, so plentiful operable windows have been added throughout to help direct breezes into the rooms. The need for electric light is minimized by installing occupancy sensors and large glazed windows to take advantage of natural day-‐lighting in all common areas and residences.
- At The Current, building materials that reduce the negative impact associated with processing raw materials was prioritized as much as possible. Additionally, recycling of consumables such as glass, paper/cardboard, plastic and aluminum is encouraged by all building occupants and visitors, with designated recycling bins available on each residential level and in common areas.
- Materials and resources were also tracked closely in the design and construction. More than 75% of all construction waste was recycled rather than sent to the landfill. More than 50% of the materials used to construct The Current contain recycled content and were manufactured regionally or salvaged, to lessen the greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing and transporting materials. Examples of materials that contain recycled content are steel, carpeting, batt-insulation and drywall. Materials that were sourced within a 500‐mile radius of the building include concrete, landscaping and some building finishes such as tile exterior panels.
- People spend more than 90% of the time indoors according to the U.S. EPA. It’s for this reason that particular attention to the quality of building materials was given to optimize the health of residents through indoor environmental quality components. Low‐emitting paints, sealants and flooring were used to protect the health and well-being of all tenants from airborne toxins that are typically in these products and harmful to breathe. Such products were tracked carefully to ensure that they do not exceed strict VOC limits.
- The Current is a non-smoking building. Additional measures to improve the indoor air quality include active ventilation bringing outdoor air into the apartment unit fan coil system, and a comprehensive construction IAQ Management plan during the construction process to minimize dust and air pollutants.
We encourage our residents and visitors to learn more about the benefits of sustainable design and construction. The Current is proud to pursue green building certification under the LEED Rating System to ensure that the healthy, resource efficient qualities that were employed at The Current are recognized through third-party certification. More information about LEED can be found at www.usgbc.org.