Roddenberry Entertainment earns its first ENERGY STAR certification; Outperforms the LEED model and similar U.S. buildings on measure of energy efficiency

Roddenberry Entertainment Inc. in Los Angeles, CA has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® certification for superior energy performance. This first ENERGY STAR Certification reflects Roddenberry Entertainment’s continued commitment to excellence in energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable practices. The building is also certified Gold under the LEED for New Construction rating system.

Argento/Graham supported Roddenberry Entertainment through the certification process by benchmarking the building in ENERGY STAR’s portfolio manager.  The building received a high score of 93.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment, “ said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide, based on weather-normalized source energy use that takes into account occupancy, hours of operation, and other key metrics. ENERGY STAR is the only energy efficiency certification in the United States that is based on actual, verified energy performance Curious about actual, verified energy performance and predictive energy use, Argento/Graham analyzed the LEED model results alongside the actual energy data required to benchmark the building. The analysis showed interesting results: the predictive annual solar production and the actual production only differed by less than 10%, or 25,997 predicted kilowatt hours compared to the recorded of 24,850 kWh. The predicted use in electricity was very different. The predicted building use was 71,300 kWh while the actual was 42,424 kWh. This difference of -40.5% indicates that Roddenberry Entertainment uses significantly less power than its peers which may be attributed to occupant behavior or differences in actual operating schedules and number of occupants as compared to assumptions made while the project was in the design phase.

To date, tens of thousands of buildings and plants across all fifty states have earned the ENERGY STAR. For more information about ENERGY STAR for Buildings and Plants, visit

Argento/Graham is an official service provider for ENERGY STAR portfolio manager and is ready to help benchmark your building.

What the Clean Power Plan Means for the Green Building Industry

By: Andy Ray

            In early August, the U.S. Green Building Council released a statement applauding the Obama administration for issuing the final rule of the Clean Power Plan that, for the first time, will place nationwide limits on emissions of carbon dioxide from power generation.[1] This historic plan aims to reduce domestic carbon emissions 32% by 2030 and is centered around three “building blocks”: 1) improve efficiency of current power plants; 2) increase dispatch of natural gas combined cycle plants; and 3) significantly expand the amount of electricity generated from clean energy sources.[2] Each of the three “building blocks” was assigned an applicable emission reduction value based on state and regional characteristics to establish state-specific emission limits for the electric generation sector. Collectively, these three blocks were determined to be the best system of capping carbon emissions generated by the electricity sector.

            Careful observers within the green building industry will note that demand-side energy efficiency measures, an important and low-cost option to reduce emissions, were used as the fourth building block in the draft plan, but were conspicuously removed from the administration’s final rule. In the CPP draft version, the formula used to establish state-level emissions limits included an annual emissions reduction of 1.5% annually from energy efficiency measures.[3] But following extensive comments from outside parties indicating that the energy efficiency block could become a legal vulnerability, the EPA selected not to incorporate it in the final rule.[4]

            So will eliminating the energy efficiency block affect sustainable building design and construction? It is easy to see why the initial reaction of many would be to assume that its elimination as a key block would negatively influence the green building industry and decrease the overall efficacy of the CPP—but numerous indications signal that this is unlikely to be the case. 

            The removal of the energy efficiency block by the EPA will simply alter the methodology used to determine the yearly emissions cap for the power sector. Even without the fourth energy efficiency block in place, EPA’s overall emissions reduction target in the final rule is actually two percent higher than what was announced in the draft phase. Secondly, despite its exclusion as the plan’s fourth building block, demand-side energy efficiency measures will continue to be allowed as a tool aiding states in achieving their prescribed emission reduction goals.

            Energy efficiency mechanisms are widely considered the lowest-cost option for achieving emissions reduction targets, and in some modeling scenarios, they can facilitate meaningful savings for consumers.[5] States will be able use various options that help reduce electricity consumption including: demand-response programs, energy-efficient construction and design, incentivizing high-efficiency lighting and appliances, and third party energy monitoring. Furthermore, within the pages of the administration’s plan, is the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), an optional provision that incentivizes early investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects located in low-income communities.[6] States participating in this program will receive double Emissions Rate Credits that can be used toward compliance in subsequent years. It is probable that the CEIP will be attractive for states, likely spurring special financing mechanisms that encourage renewable energy systems and green building developments; such as schools, offices, and hospitals, in regions that are sorely missing green infrastructure.

            Already, many states have policies that promote energy efficiency; and those with the most stringent and comprehensive measures – such as California and Oregon – will be distinctively ahead of the curve in meeting their carbon emission targets. The Clean Power Plan will transform the way America looks at energy production and indubitably usher in the next era of energy efficiency and renewable energy development. In the coming years, the green building industry is positioned to become a major beneficiary of the CPP as a growing number of states and communities adopt and expand energy efficiency and green building practices. But perhaps most importantly, is that just months before the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the United States has announced that we have finally recognized the need to become an international leader in developing solutions to reduce global carbon emissions. 

[1] USGBC CPP Statement, 2015

[2] EPA CPP - Final Rule, 2015

[3] EPA CPP - Draft Rule Fact Sheet, 2014

[4] Greenwire - 'Building Block 4' Cut Seen as Pre-Emptive Move for High Court, 2015