Sony seeds its green house

Culver City 'campus' to open in '09

Sony Pictures Entertainment rolled out the green carpet Friday to break ground on its environmentally friendly two-building campus and commissary that will be a new "center of gravity" at the Culver City lot.

The 125,000-square-foot 4th Avenue building will be the new home for Sony Pictures Television. The 90,000-square-foot Culver Building will be Sony Pictures Television International's headquarters. The project, which includes an employee commons area and parking lot, is set to be completed in summer 2009.

"We are going to create a campus environment in the middle of the lot that will be the new center of gravity," Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal said. "We are creating a space where we can all hang out, read the newspaper, have lunch or just relax."

The buildings are being constructed according to guidelines established by the U.S. Green Building Council, including recycling 95% of the construction waste; installing low-flow toilets and waterless urinals; constructing an energy efficient, low-emission power plan; and using 100% nontoxic carpeting, paint, sealant, adhesives and wall coverings.

"These environmental efforts are part of a series of green initiatives we've taken over the years," Sony chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who joined Pascal and Lynton for the ceremony, lauded Sony for taking major environmental steps in the design of the building. The governor also announced the "Green Resource Guide," released by the California Film Commission, which promotes environmentally conscious film production.

"To me, this is a huge, huge victory for this studio, and it inspires now all other private sectors that are building to do the same thing," Schwarzenegger said.

Also on hand for the groundbreaking were Culver City Mayor Alan Corlin and California Assembly Majority Leader Karen Bass.