Wilshire Grand Tower
Los Angeles, California
The LEED Gold Wilshire Grand Tower stands entirely in the footprint of its predecessor, the iconic Wilshire Grand Hotel, but that’s where the similarities end.
The hotel had earned a reputation over its near 60-year existence as a destination for celebrities and international dignitaries, becoming a Los Angeles landmark in the process. However, as the revitalization of LA’s downtown continues, the hotel’s owner, Korean Airlines, decided it was time to move forward. The resulting 73-story tower is the tallest building in the western United States, and is designed to house 16 floors of office space, 36 floors of hotel, 900 hotel rooms, 1,470 parking spaces, and 7-story hotel podium with ballrooms, meeting rooms, restaurants, fitness center and spa. The glass skyscraper stands not only as symbol of that revitalization, but also as a showcase for innovative and sustainable engineering.
Glumac was heavily involved in performing the envelope analysis to optimize the building’s façade. Viracon glass was used to reject heat from the direct sunlight (which is a near constant in LA) and enhance the efficiency of the climate control system. Occupant connection to the outdoors is also a key design theme for the project. The plaza, several outdoor terraces, and the podium and rooftop pools feature crucial elements of biophilic design – which seeks to bring elements inherent to nature into the built environment. A thermal energy storage system was also designed, which functions as a load shedding strategy that charges a large water tank over night to reduce the number of chillers needed to operate the facility during the day, providing cost savings from not running chillers during peak hours.
Glumac also designed a storm water and condensate harvesting system to operate the open air cooling towers used for climate control. Large amounts of water are lost during the cooling process, but by trapping and reusing rain water and condensation rather than pulling from an outside source, the facility stands to save as much as 550,000 gallons of water per year. Additionally, radiant heating and cooling systems optimize the comfort levels on the ground floor and sky lobbies, and efficient lighting controls reduce usage by 30%. Eight of the hotel floors feature operable windows that work in conjunction with the HVAC system to provide energy savings. When the windows are opened, the HVAC system is notified to automatically shut down, mitigating energy waste. And keycards controls in each room turn off lights and shut down non critical plugs when the room is unoccupied, and can reduce heating and cooling loads as well.
Size: 73-stories; 1.5 million sf
Estimated Completion Date: 2017
Estimated Construction Cost: $1 billion
Owner: Hanjin Group
Architect: AC Martin
General Contractor: Turner Construction
How Glumac used Rendering in Autodesk 360 to make a successful proposal for the Wilshire Grand project in downtown Los Angeles. | Read More
The design elements—and the strategic use of those elements—that go into creating a building facade play a critical role in energy performance. With the Wilshire Grand, a 73-story hotel and office tower in downtown Los Angeles, California, and the tallest building in the western United States, an envelope study performed during the conceptual stage informed an ideal facade design that balances energy efficiency and aesthetics to help meet the project’s aggressive sustainability goals. | Read More
The façade of a building defines both its mark in a landscape and its footprint on the environment. And that’s definitely apparent with the new Wilshire Grand in downtown Los Angeles. Designed by AC Martin, Wilshire Grand is a wholly unique entry into the LA skyline, and has reshaped what a high-rise can look like in Southern California. | Read More