Design, Energy, Environment, Los Angeles, Sustainability, Transforming Los Angeles

In this Transforming Los Angeles blog series, we’re delving into the people, projects and initiatives that are shaping the future of Los Angeles. Learn more about the intricacies of creating interconnected infrastructure that delivers social value for a more cohesive, inclusive, and sustainable urban environment.

Nancy Jones is a senior project architect based in Los Angeles, California in the United States. She leads the design and sustainability efforts for Intuit Dome, integrating eco-friendly solutions. Boasting over 30 years’ expertise, her passion transforms the vision of clients like the LA Clippers into reality, shaping the company’s legacy.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself – your role and career journey

I began my professional journey more than three decades ago, initially working with a sole proprietor architect who specialized in crafting custom homes in Santa Barbara, California. I then worked in several other places in San Francisco and Los Angeles before joining DMJM (now AECOM) and I’ve been with AECOM for over 28 years now. I’ve served in many varied roles including the technologies manager overseeing computer-aided design (CAD) and visualization for the LA Architecture and Interiors practices, a scoping documents architect consulting for LA County public works projects and a construction administration architect providing services for LAX World Airports on the second level roadway projects involving the installation of new canopies and sculptural light poles/ribbon as part of a broader effort to enhance infrastructure in the airport vicinity.

Currently, I’m a senior project architect based onsite at Intuit Dome in Inglewood, California.  My role is providing direct in-field architectural support and construction administration services for the arena which will be the new home of the LA Clippers basketball team. As the full-time day-to-day contact member of the design team, I work daily alongside the owner’s representatives, the construction management team, and contractors. I bring history and experience to the jobsite as I have been involved with the project since the design development phase and through construction documents from managing the team focused on the exterior shell structure/facades of the arena.

2. How is Intuit Dome responding to the vision and aspiration the LA Clippers has for their new home?  

Working on Intuit Dome is an inspiring experience. The owner’s vision to provide the Clippers with their very own iconic home has been a driving force for our entire team. This enthusiasm and clear aspirations to make LA home have motivated us to do a great job.  We have great interaction with the client project management team, meeting regularly and conducting site visits. Currently, our AECOM’s sports architecture practice is still fully engaged in refining every detail to meet client expectations, with support of professionals from interiors and consultant engineering teams. Witnessing instant progress has been immensely satisfying. Despite the project’s complexity, seeing it come together gradually is truly rewarding.

I studied Urban Design in graduate school at UCLA and this has influenced my approach to the project. I am inspired by the potential of this project to make a significant civic contribution, integrating seamlessly into the surrounding urban fabric. Situated near the NFL’s SoFi Stadium, Intuit Dome has become another vital piece in connecting and revitalizing this neighborhood. The vibrant atmosphere in the area, with events at SoFi Stadium, the Forum, and the upcoming adjacent complex, highlights the ongoing transformation. Looking ahead, as we move toward 2024 and the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games, our work on Intuit Dome is not just about building an arena — it’s about expanding Los Angeles and contributing to the city’s interconnectivity.

3. Sustainability has been a major factor in the design of Intuit Dome, what are the eco-friendly aspects that have been integrated into the building’s design and construction? 

Sustainability has been at the core of our design and construction process for Intuit Dome. In addition to the goal of attaining LEED Certification, right from the early phases of design, a tremendous amount of care and study were conducted to integrate eco-friendly elements into the building. Our approach involved comprehensive thermal energy modeling, facades analysis, lighting assessments, and wind studies carried out by our High-Performance Buildings and Facades engineering teams.

By the thermal envelope definitions, everything from the engineering of the systems to color and material selections is affected. For instance, the sheerness and the density of the PTFE membrane, the silvery mesh material on the grid shell outside structure, affects the light transmission, which then affects the cooling needs and mechanical loads. This directly translates into system capacity, equipment space requirements, and weather proofing. We also investigated the details of glazing transmission levels and the functional layout of the office building, exploring options for open-air ventilation and insulation. Subsequently these elements influence program space allocation, illustrating the intricate interconnectedness of every aspect in the design.

Our concept of sustainability extends beyond the physical structure. We also assessed how Intuit Dome would integrate into its surrounding site and impact the broader Los Angeles region. This holistic perspective is vital. We considered its relationships with adjacent venues, its connectivity to LAX, and how it fits into the future landscape, including its role in events like the Olympics. Sustainability, for us, is not just a feature — it’s a comprehensive strategy that encompasses both the immediate environment and its long-term contributions to the community and the city.

Working on Intuit Dome has been an incredible journey. We’re due to open in Fall 2024 and I’m incredibly proud of my role in taking the project from its initial documentation stages through to the advanced construction phase.

Originally published Dec 8, 2023

Author: Nancy Jones