The team took care to utilize materials and equipment to qualify the project for USGBC LEED Certification. Some of its “sustainable features” include occupancy sensors, high-efficiency HVAC units, and a shuttle bus which ties the building to nearby railway transit. A touch-screen building management system in the lobby gives the viewer an indication of how energy is being used throughout the building, while 40 kW photovoltaic panels on the roof generate electricity from solar energy. Refurbished office furniture was chosen for desks, with 40% of the materials used being manufactured locally. In addition, indoor water use is reduced by waterless urinals, and all of the site’s toilet and irrigation water is supplied by reclaimed water from the City of San Diego. More examples of energy-saving tactics are the installation of a “cool roof,” the addition of insulation to the interiors of concrete walls, and the use of low VOC (volatile organic compounds) finish products.
Energy-efficiency related strategies were the running theme of this entire project. By achieving an energy-efficient design, the project qualified for cash incentives and help with offsetting fees for LEED registration and certification from the SDG&E Sustainable Communities Energy Efficiency Program.