Save money. Increase sustainability.

Century Plaza Towers

Case Study Summary


Century Plaza Towers – Century City, California


Reduce energy costs and increase sustainability

Product Selection

3M™ Sun Control Window Film Neutral 35


With the addition of window film, building management saves 155,000 KWH per month

Project Scope:

The land around the Century Plaza Towers in Los Angeles is truly legendary ground. From the late 1920s until nearly 1960, the site was home to one of the premier studios of Hollywood’s Golden Age: 20th Century Fox Pictures. Stars like Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and others starred in movies filmed on the studio back lot.

Part of that land was later sold, and construction of the landmark Century Plaza Towers, comprising of two 44-story towers and 2.3 million square feet of class “A” office space, was completed in 1974. Both towers used aluminum for the facade, and they have been pictured in countless movies and television shows over the years.


The unique three-sided configuration of each tower — and the steady supply of California sunshine—combined to make consistent heating and cooling a challenge. When property management company CB Richard Ellis looked at options for solving the temperature imbalance and making the towers more energy efficient, one of the ideas they considered was window film.

“We’ve taken a number of steps to enhance sustainability at Century Plaza Towers,” said Renee Watkinson, Vice President and Director of CB Richard Ellis. “We’ve installed an irrigation management system and waterless urinals to reduce water use, along with lighting retrofits to reduce energy use. We saw window film as another way to improve our sustainability.”


The project’s management considered several different window film manufacturers. But that changed when the building’s Chief Engineer, Chris Daniel, said building management was only interested in working with 3M products. Management contacted a 3M representative, and Brad Campbell, a local 3M™ Window Film dealer, was brought in on the project.

Keeping in mind the historical nature of Century Plaza Towers, the group decided on 3M™ Sun Control Window Film Neutral 35 for its high heat rejection qualities and neutral light appearance, so that it wouldn’t drastically change the look of the buildings. “These are highly-visible towers,” said Campbell, “And it was important to strike a balance between aesthetics and energy savings.”


According to Ms. Watkinson, crews brought both efficiency and professionalism to Century Plaza Towers, working both nights and weekends to install the 3M window film on the towers’ 11,000 windows between floors 2 and 44. The project was completed in just four months, and the benefits were immediate. In addition to more consistent temperatures throughout the building, utility bills began to drop. Just as importantly, much of the project’s cost was offset by a rebate of $116,000 from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

“3M is a very credible and professional company, and CB Richard Ellis has had a national relationship with them for some time,” Watkinson said. “The payback on this project was only seven-and-a-half months, and both 3M and Campbell Window Film did a great job. It was one of the easiest capital projects we’ve ever done.”

Superior Performance Through 3M Science.

3M™ Prestige Series Films use non-metallized, multilayer optical film and nanotechnology to achieve what other films simply can’t:

  • Enhanced comfort and protection — The spectrally selective films reject up to 97%* of the sun’s heatproducing infrared light, helping keep interiors cooler, reducing the load on cooling systems and saving energy. By blocking 99.9% of UV rays, the films help protect furnishings from the harmful effects of the sun. And according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, window film is one of several recommended safeguards against UV damage.
  • Unsurpassed capabilities — What sets Prestige Series Films apart is the precision with which light waves are controlled as they pass through or reflect off of hundreds of layers of film. Compared to other films, the Prestige Series Films increase their performance at a faster rate as the sun’s angle increases. That means greater protection and comfort when you need it the most. When the sun is working its hardest, so is 3M’sPrestige Series.
  • Enhanced views and aesthetics — Films that reject heat tend to have high reflectivity. Not with Prestige Series Films. These films are optically clear and can offer reflectivity that’s in some cases lower than glass. That means the same visual clarity, inside and out.
  • No corrosion. No signal interference. Being non-metallic, Prestige Series Films aren’t susceptible to corrosion in coastal environments. They also don’t interfere with electronic device signals.

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