UL, global safety science leader, has announced that The Music Center in Los Angeles, CA has become the first performing arts organization to earn the UL Verified Healthy Buildings Mark for Indoor Air Quality. The Music Center recently underwent an extensive process to earn the verification, demonstrating that each of its four venues — Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum, and Ahmanson Theatre — as well as Grand Park’s administrative office and The Music Center Annex, has excellent indoor air quality (IAQ).
To achieve the UL Verification Mark, The Music Center participated in numerous on-site visits, which included UL visual inspections as well as IAQ performance testing and assessment, and upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The Music Center will participate in UL’s surveillance review process twice a year to ensure The Music Center’s buildings exceed rigorous IAQ performance criteria.
“By earning the UL Verified Healthy Building Mark, The Music Center has taken an significant step in advancing indoor air quality. This is a critically important effort as stakeholders from guests and staff to performers and health officials prioritize the importance of health and wellness in cultural venues,” said Sean McCrady, director, Asset and Sustainability Performance, Real Estate Properties at UL. “Their bold action demonstrates a commitment to putting the health and well-being of building occupants first, and we’re pleased they are putting their trust in UL to deliver on that promise.”
UL’s Verified Healthy Building Program was developed over the past year to address the urgent response necessary to stop COVID-19 transmission. The UL Verified Healthy Buildings program utilizes testing methods that verify indoor air quality and are aligned with industry-recognized, third-party organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHREA), among others.
The UL verification is key part of The Music Center’s safety assessment and preparation strategy as it looks forward to resuming outdoor and, eventually, indoor live events and performances on its campus, pending the lifting of COVID-related public health directives. Since closing its campus more than a year ago, The Music Center has worked behind the scenes to achieve the UL Verified Healthy Buildings Mark while implementing new practices designed to enhance safety and minimize risk for guests, artists, and staff when returning to the campus. All of The Music Center’s new measures, protocols, and procedures are based on directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and other information made available to live entertainment venues.
“The Music Center is very proud of achieving this UL milestone, and we have plans in place for continual advancement of IAQ. Because air flow and circulation are critical to creating a safe environment, we upgraded all our filters throughout the campus’ HVAC systems, rebalanced the mix of recirculated and fresh air and maximized recirculation times for the air coming through the complex,” added Howard Sherman, executive vice president and chief operating officer, The Music Center. “Audiences already know they can trust us for presenting world-class performances, so the UL Verified Healthy Buildings Mark was important to also give them peace of mind when they visit and enter our buildings. The health and safety of our patrons, artists, and employees will always be our first priority.”