Port Hearing on "Green" Certified Headquarters
Administration complex would offer environmental benefits, community amenities
September 30, 2008
The Port of Long Beach will hear public comments Wednesday, October 1, 2008 on a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a proposed Port administration building and maintenance facility complex. The new facility would replace a nearly 50-year-old, earthquake-deficient administration building and maintenance facilities with a new, LEED-certified environmentally friendly complex on a 17-acre site just east of the current Port headquarters.
The October 1 hearing will be at the Port Administration Building, 925 Harbor Plaza, at 6:30 p.m. A second hearing will be October 8 at the City Hall Council Chambers, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., at 6 :30 p.m. The Port will be accepting written comments on the draft EIR through October 23.
The new Port structure would qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification to become one of the first LEED buildings in Long Beach. The complex would also provide amenities for the community such as public meeting rooms, a public cafe with outdoor easing, an outdoor amphitheater for large group gatherings and a private garden area for special functions.
"The Port has badly outgrown its administration building -- some of our employees are working in temporary trailers in the parking lot," said Port Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. "This gives us an opportunity to build a forward-looking, environmentally friendly complex that will accommodate current and future Harbor Department needs and bring some real benefits to the community."
In addition, Steinke said, the current administration building, built in 1959, would require more than $80 million in seismic upgrades to meet California's earthquake standards.
Through extensive research, design and multiple revisions, the Port has refined its proposed projects to optimize efficiencies and control costs. The estimated cost of the new administration building, $218 million, is comparable to similar structures. With the addition of the maintenance facility, public amenities and other features, the project's total cost is estimated at about $295 million.
The proposed Port headquarters complex would combine the maintenance functions together with the administrative headquarters to maximize operational efficiencies. The Maintenance Yard is now located at a significant distance from Port headquarters, at the foot of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
In keeping with the Green Port Policy, the proposed Administration Building and Maintenance Facility complex will be environmentally friendly. The new Administration Building and Maintenance Facility will be at least a LEED-Gold certified building, and the Port is pursuing Platinum LEED certification. The Maintenance Facility will be certified as LEED-Silver.
- The new complex would include such environmental efficiencies as:
- Extensive use of natural daylight to reduce electricity use
- Increased energy efficiency (solar and wind power are being investigated)
- Increased water conservation
- Use of recycled or renewable materials for construction
- Accommodations for alternative transportation
- Sustainable landscaping and storm water treatment
- Green construction practices, including low-emissions construction equipment
Since the Port does not receive taxpayer funds to operate, no taxpayer money will be used to fund the design or construction of the complex. The Port receives the majority of its funding from its customers, private terminal operators who lease Port property. It is expected that the design and construction of the new Port headquarters complex would take about five years.