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Partner Moves Into Green Headquarters

Partner Engineering and Science has taken occupancy of its newly renovated, green HQ in Torrance, CA.

Torrance, CA—Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. one of the nation’s leading environmental due diligence firms, has taken occupancy of its newly renovated 20,000 square-foot sustainable headquarters in Torrance, in which the firm will seek LEED CI Silver certification, announced President Joseph P. Derhake, PE.

“My model for this building was the San Francisco South of Market warehouse conversion space that is home to so many entrepreneurial companies. We found a building here in the South Bay that fits that image, reflects our entrepreneurial culture and accommodates our rapid growth,” said Derhake. “Our new headquarters is exemplary of the opportunities that exist with the proper diligence. Built in the 1960s by Pacific Bell, the two-story building had sat vacant for nearly a decade but our engineers determined that despite some environmental history and structural engineering challenges, it was a diamond in the rough.”

“The renovated Partner headquarters also is a great platform to showcase energy-efficient technologies,” added Tony Liou, President of Partner Energy, which designed many of the energy-efficient concepts for the building. Partner Energy, which was launched in 2009 as a joint venture with Partner Engineering and Science, Inc., assists building owners and users identify and implement best-of-class energy efficiency solutions that make the most business sense. “We’ve been helping building owners all over the country and this building gave us the opportunity to practice what we preach,” said Liou.

After conducting environmental and structural due diligence, the firm acquired the building in late 2010 for $2.08 million. Led by project manager Michael Steinbach and construction manager Michael Gaumond, the firm undertook a $2.6 million renovation that included the installation of an elevator and new steel members to strengthen the reinforced concrete structure to support a rooftop deck, conference and meeting space. The third floor will be used for seminars and training on sustainability and energy efficiency.

Perhaps most impressive, the renovation also included numerous sustainable and energy efficiency improvements such as:

  • Rooftop solar arrays that provide for 50 percent of energy consumption
  • Solar tubes and large treated windows to provide abundant natural light
  • Motion sensors and interior Energy Star-rated lighting systems that automatically dim in response to daylight
  • Literally, a “green roof” of live plantings that serve as natural insulation and reduce the building’s “heat island” effect
  • Reflective, white “cool” coating on the remaining portions of the roof
  • An integrated building management system with aggressive energy conservation control strategy programming and auto-demand response capabilities
  • Ultra low flow devices and toilets
  • Electric vehicle charging station in company garage

The project architect was David Swartz of the Los Angeles offices of HLW Architects. Partner was able to take advantage of a Small Business Administration (SBA) program in which 90 percent of the total project financing, including acquisition, was secured through an SBA 504 Loan. “As professional energy engineers, we were able to verify how our programs would meet the SBA’s public policy goals of reducing energy costs by at least 10 percent. This allowed us to obtain long-term financing at an unheard of loan-to-cost ratio, in what was then a very constrained real estate capital market,” said Liou. Project financing was secured by Benjamin Stone-Walsh of Wells Fargo Bank and Armen Madatyan of CDC Small Business Development Corp.

Partner celebrates their new building with city officials, clients, and civic leaders at a rooftop open house party on March 29.