Woodland Hills - 21555 Oxnard Street

BACKGROUND

In response to California’s multiyear drought, Anthem implemented a landscaping redesign plan to reduce water demand and create a more resilient environment at the 21555 Oxnard Street campus in Woodland Hills. After receiving a rebate of $1.1 million to fund the project, Anthem is doing its part to relieve pressure on California’s water supply by reducing its water demand by 46 percent annually, or 14.4 million gallons.

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Since 2011, California has been experiencing unprecedented levels of drought resulting in dramatically low levels of snowpack; the state relies on snowpack as the primary source of water to reservoirs that serve drinking water, agriculture, and hydroelectric needs. In response to this, Governor Jerry Brown issued a mandatory water reduction for the entire state, the first of its kind for California.

The mandate offers a rebate from the L.A. Department of Water and Power (LADWP) of up to $3 per square foot for commercial customers who seek to replace landscaping with drought-tolerant plants. Anthem received a rebate of $2 per square foot, amounting to a total $1.1 million. The 5-month project focused on replacing water-intense lawns with plants better suited for the semi-arid climate.

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SOLUTIONS

Over the course of a 5-month period, Anthem replaced 12.7 acres (554,000 sq. ft.) of lawn with more than 8,500 xerophytic plants that are more resilient to the semi-arid Los Angeles climate. The company has chosen to couple this new landscape with a drip irrigation system, a system which has become increasingly more popular due to its higher efficiency and low cost.

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Aside from being a more cost-effective landscaping solution in terms of installation costs, drip irrigation systems offer several benefits compared to traditional sprinkler systems, especially in drought-affected areas. Drip irrigation offers better control of where water is distributed so that water can be delivered directly to plant roots; this prevents water waste through evaporation and runoff, or spraying water on empty landscape areas.

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OTHER BENEFITS

Anthem worked with a local landscape design company who was able to complete the project for the rebate amount granted by LADWP, meaning Anthem spent nothing out of pocket to make the site more water-efficient.  In addition to contributing to Anthem’s cost savings, native plants are vital to preserving biodiversity. Using native plants in landscaping helps maintain the health of the local ecosystem and averts the risk of introducing invasive species.

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Annual Water Use

Baseline (2013)
31.2M gallons
Actual (2015)
16.8M gallons

Water Savings:

46%

Annual Water Cost

Baseline (2013)
$210,000
Actual (2015)
$113,000

Cost Savings:

$97,000

Sector Type

Commercial

Location

Los Angeles, California

Project Size

554,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

$1.1 million (offset by LADWP rebate via California Friendly Landscape Incentive Program)

21555 Oxnard St exterior