The Michelle and Barack Obama Sports Complex, one of the first net-zero energy buildings in all of Los Angeles, is complete and ready to serve the public. The modern design is a beautiful model for the future.

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A rectangle sports center facing a lawn

Built on the site of the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex, the sports wing is 40,000 square feet of space encompassing a gymnasium and pool. The design is comprised of pre-engineered metal buildings. On the other hand, the exterior is full of drought-tolerant landscaping that’s designed in five distinct ecologies in a grid-like design. For example, high desert, canyon, coastal, medicinal and chaparral ecologies are all represented.

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The front of a sports center facing a concrete parking lot

SPF architects designed the building, which is at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Obama Boulevard. The building is designed for natural ventilation and has a greywater system. Additionally, there’s a photovoltaic solar array system to harness natural power. There are also electric vehicle charging stations and lots of bike racks.

An indoor multipurpose basketball court

As a result, these features create the net-zero energy design. But what does that mean? Net-zero energy buildings consume only as much energy as what is produced onsite through renewable, sustainable resources. It is a big goal for architects, designers and construction specialists. As more buildings that generate energy appear in cities and towns all around the world, more designers and builders will start to create these structures. It is possible to change the way the world uses energy, one building at a time.

An indoor swimming pool

Michelle and Barack Obama, former first lady and president of the U.S., have been inspirational for a generation of people. They have served as a symbol of hope and change. That’s fitting because hope and change are exactly what it will take to change the way the world uses energy. To create a world where only sustainable energy sources are used to power it.

+ SPF:architects

Photography by Mike Kelley