Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles, Brooks + Scarpa

Residents at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles enliven the streetscape and regulate their environment through a series of occupant-controlled perforated-metal-panel screens. Designed by Brooks + Scarpa, the project’s metal screens offer passive ventilation, privacy, and shade. Additional passive features such as building orientation, solar-ventilation chimneys, operable windows, and a private courtyard work together to make the building nearly 50 percent more energy efficient than similar conventional structures. A variable refrigerant flow system moves heat and cooling from one part of the building to another to meet demand, while the insulated building envelope, low-E windows, high-efficiency lighting, and occupancy sensors also minimize energy consumption in the building. The roof includes a 30,000-kilowatt solar PV system; as a result, tenants pay 30 to 40 percent less in operating expenses. Measurement and verification for the Living Building Challenge is currently being conducted and LEED Platinum certification is pending.

Team members worked with the city to change established standards. Zoning was altered to allow a live/work space; sidewalk width was increased and bike racks were added; and the project located the first privately funded stormwater retention system in Los Angeles’s public right-of-way. The retention system and a vegetated roof retain 100 percent of stormwater on site.