2014 Winner: The All-Rounder

The most improved building across multiple sustainability categories.

Who led the charge



John Smith
Operations Manager, Commonwealth Partners


John Smith made landmark changes at LA Landmark at City National Plaza to create millions in savings. A former Marine, John Smith was promoted to Operations Manager for his current portfolio of buildings in November of 2010. As OM, he leads a diverse team of professionals who provide contracting, construction coordination, and quality assurance. Fifteen million square feet of Class A commercial office space rely on John and his team for project management and construction project supervision, heating and air conditioning central plant management, building safety and security, janitorial service supervision, and grounds maintenance. Strong information and data analysis are a key part of John’s strategy, allowing him to ensure projects are completed on time and budget, and that tenants enjoy a healthy and sustainable work environment.

City National plaza, Los angeles, ca                     Commercial Building - 3,607,788 sq. ft.

To retrofit a single 52-story tower would be hard enough, but to breathe new life into a pair of them more than doubles the challenge. Whether installing lighting upgrades, replacing both chillers and boilers, modernizing elevators, or adding robust Building Automation Systems, work at City National Plaza’s twin towers meant John and his team needed to take a strategic and holistic approach. Both the building’s status as a historical landmark and the asbestos in its core walls created a unique set of challenges for the team to overcome, but despite these they were able to create millions of dollars in cost savings by considering their retrofit from all angles. They made changes from the inside with initiatives like their Green Tenant Improvement Guide and annual Green Tenant competition, and the outside by undertaking projects like wet-sealing the property’s exterior. This commitment to the environment is rounded out by developments beyond the building’s walls, such as its eight electric vehicle charging stations; bike racks, storage, and shower facilities for bicycle commuters; and environmentally-friendly shuttle busses.

Improvements at City National Plaza now save them over $4 million every year on energy!

Daniele Horton | Director of Sustainability, Commonwealth Partners
Travis Addison | Senior Vice President, Commonwealth Properties
Richard Corey | Property Manager, Commonwealth Partners
Jim Shipman | Chief Engineer, Commonwealth Partners
Kirsten Quezambra | Vice President, Commonwealth Partners


"Getting everyone on board from the executive office to the janitorial staff was very important. CNP is a large and challenging project and it has been very rewarding for everyone to see the results of our efforts materialize."

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