Expert Interview: Brian Stern, Energy Analyst, LEED AP BD+C


Brian Stern is an energy analyst with Glumac, A Tetra Tech Company, who supports firm-wide sustainable and high-performance building design. His work improves building performance from initial concept all the way through operation. Using energy modeling software, he develops holistic building energy efficiency strategies appropriate to local environmental conditions. Brian’s focus spans all market sectors, having experience with the healthcare, commercial, higher education, institutional, residential, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering.


What is the sustainability story of the Wilshire Grand in downtown Los Angeles?

The Wilshire Grand is really a holistically sustainable building. I think being such an impactful building on the Los Angeles skyline, the owners and AC Martin—the architect—wanted to make sure that the building had a strong, sustainability story and was really high performance.

We spent a lot of time during design making sure we could reduce the building’s impact on the environment, and the environment’s impact on the building. As Los Angeles’ climate is primarily cooling-driven—with a lot of bright, sunny days—reducing solar loads on the building as much as possible can make a major difference on energy efficiency. We conducted building shading studies to determine solar loads for different sun positions on an average day and worked with AC Martin on optimizing the window-to-wall ratio, which is a reflection of what percentage of the building envelope—or facade—is made up of windows versus the amount made up of other constructed material. We also designed a really high-performance glazing for the curtain wall system.

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