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Case Studies  > Developers Invest in Concrete at Water’s Edge
Speculative office building offers quality, sustainability
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Photo Courtesy: EPO & Maguire Properties
Playa Vista, a rapidly growing community on the west side of Los Angeles, is home to a mixed-use development incorporating residential, office, commercial, and retail space. When developers Maguire Partners and Equity Office Partners decided to collaborate on speculative office buildings in the area, they used concrete to form both the structure and much of the exterior of Building 2, creating a building that offers energy efficiency,flexible spaces, and a naturally beautiful aesthetic to tenants.

Building 2 of the Water’s Edge at Playa Vista project is four stories tall, offering 45,000 square feet of space per floor. A minimalist aesthetic throughout the building embraces exposed, unpainted concrete enhanced using formwork liners and reveals without increasing costs.

On the exterior, the same aesthetic is given a creative treatment through the
use of custom-designed formliners that create contrasting façade patterns.
The cast-in-place concrete design minimized cladding needs, keeping exterior cladding strictly glass. Expansive windows allow maximum daylighting and dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Ballona Wetlands, and Marina Del Rey.

Kaz Baba, project designer with the architectural firm of Gensler, says exposed concrete flat plate floor systems and perimeter moment frames reduced overall project costs by reducing the floor-to-floor height, eliminating skin costs at exposed beams and reducing ceiling costs throughout. The resulting increase in window height and location not only offers more daylighting; it is also a more efficient utilization of the floor-to-floor height. For tenants, “that not only adds environmental benefits, but also creates an overall better environment,” says Baba.

Flexible space and large open expanses within the building, in addition to
concrete’s excellent thermal mass, help increase HVAC efficiency and lower
energy costs. That same flexibility makes the building more attractive to
potential long-term tenants, contributing to the overall sustainability of the