Location Burbank, CA
Size 932,190 ft² (buildings), 19 acres (site)
Program Five office buildings, state-of-the-art health club, two commissary facilities, screening room, on-site covered parking
Awards TOBY Award for office building of the year in the suburban low-rise office park category; “Clean Air Award” issued by the National Air Filtration Association

Media Studios North in Burbank, California, is home to some big names in media and entertainment—Yahoo!, Technicolor, and Insomniac Games among them—but the office campus itself is quite the showstopper too, at least in terms of sustainability. The award-winning property includes five office buildings, a health club, cafés, screening rooms, on-site covered parking, courts for basketball and sand volleyball, and even a game of chess with life-size pieces. Developed in phases from 1996 to 2006 by M. David Paul Development, it is currently co-owned with Shorenstein Properties. To find out what’s happening to green the office spaces, gb&d took a closer look.

Building Acquisition

Media Studios North originally comprised a single existing building—a converted Lockheed Martin “Skunkworks” site—and the remaining four office properties were developed in phases from 1996 to 2006, following the acquisition of land from the Burbank Redevelopment Agency. Today, energy-efficiency initiatives are important to the property’s continued prestige. “We feel that sustainability is critical to the ownership, tenants, and community,” says Leo Divinsky of Worthe Real Estate Group, asset manager for the LEED Gold site. “We’re 100 percent leased and believe our sustainable practices have made this an attractive home for a lot of companies.”


Owner Shorenstein Properties, M. David Paul Development
Property Management Worthe Real Estate Group
Architect The Landau Partnership (Phase I), Dave Thomsen Enterprises (Phases II-V)
General Contractor Krismar Construction Company
Mechanical Western Allied Corporation
Maintenance Peerless Building Maintenance Co.
LEED Consultant Envision Realty Services

Furniture to Fitness

The campus, which has an Energy Star average rating of 93, has promoted the eco-friendly disposal of technology and supplies through e-waste drives, and Precor fitness equipment is used in the health club. Precor, Divinsky explains, manufactures its equipment in the United States, and the company’s process is among the best in terms of a zero-waste target. Management also adopted sustainable purchasing plans for items such as lightbulbs, paper and office goods, furniture, and electronics.

Greener Air

After the building phases were completed at Media Studios North, the project team worked with LEED consultant Envision Realty Services and had air quality and ventilation measured to ensure it met the standards, and the property management continues to work with its maintenance service provider, Peerless Building Maintenance Co., to maximize its green cleaning program by using environmentally friendly products, methods, and equipment. The buildings’ pest control vendor was also able to achieve alternative methods for pest control, minimizing the amount of chemicals used. Outdoors, organic fertilizers are used throughout the campus, as well as low-emission landscape equipment.

Water and Waste

All existing plumbing was retrofitted with low-flow fixtures, achieving a 24 percent reduction in indoor water use. The property also developed a cooling tower water-treatment plant and reuses as much water as possible. All food waste from the campus cafés is composted, reducing the contamination rate. And outside, the grounds are maintained with 100 percent nonpotable reclaimed water.

Although the campus was built in 2006, it received its LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings in July 2012.

Although the campus was built in 2006, it received its LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings in July 2012.


Certification LEED Gold
Cleaning Earth-friendly cleaning and pest control products used
Materials Energy Star products, sustainable and US-made materials
Water Low-flow fixtures, cooling-tower water-treatment plant
Energy Low-mercury, long-life, and LED bulbs, low-wattage CFL lightbulbs, energy-efficient outdoor and garage lighting schedule
Landscape Reclaimed water for irrigation, organic fertilizers, low-emission landscape equipment

Campus Energy

Working with Western Allied Corporation, the team sought to reduce energy use and upgrade mechanical systems. It conducted an audit for all of the campus’s energy use, and numerous low- or no-cost measures were implemented. Fluorescent lightbulbs were replaced with 28-watt, low-mercury, long-life bulbs, and the team reduced the wattage on its CFL bulbs. Exterior and garage lighting schedules were examined and replaced with energy-efficient timing, and halogen lamps were replaced with LED lighting.

Changing Transit

Media Studios North worked with tenants to implement a traffic management plan, with a goal of reducing trip counts. Because tenants are carpooling, walking, biking, telecommuting, and using public transportation, Divinsky says they have documented a reduction in single-use vehicle traffic of 27 percent more than comparable baseline.