SAN DIEGO, Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) Energy Innovation Center (the Center), a showcase facility where residential and business customers can learn about energy efficiency, alternative fuel transportation and clean generation, has achieved LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
"Earning LEED Platinum certification for the Energy Innovation Center is a significant milestone for SDG&E, and is a testament to all of our committed employees and community partners who have worked to help make this vision a reality," said Pam Fair, vice president of environmental, operations support and chief environmental officer for SDG&E. "Since its unveiling earlier this year, this facility has been a valuable resource for the community and is demonstrating ways that we all can move toward a more sustainable energy future."
LEED Platinum certification is the highest level of sustainability a building can achieve with the U.S. Green Building Council, nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. For commercial buildings to earn LEED certification, a project must satisfy all LEED prerequisites and earn a minimum 40 points on a 110-point LEED rating system scale.
"SDG&E's Energy Innovation Center has raised the bar for our leadership class of high-performing green buildings in San Diego," said Douglas Kot, executive director of the San Diego Green Building Council. "Perhaps, more importantly, the Center has also transformed an underutilized commercial neighborhood center into a beacon of sustainability."
In order to meet the LEED platinum certification, SDG&E benefited from the incorporation of the latest sustainable features in the Center's design. Some of the key elements of the Center include:
- Six sun-tracking solar "trees" in the parking lot provide shade and generate 62 kW of electricity. Combined with the solar panels on the roof, the system provides enough electricity to power 31 homes.
- The "cool roof" reflects the sun's rays and keeps the Center cooler than a conventional roof, which helps reduce the demand on the Center's air conditioning. The roof also has a rain water collection unit that stores water used for the Center's irrigation system.
- The landscape features drought resistant landscaping and efficient irrigation technology, resulting in a 50 percent water savings compared to a conventional design.
- 85 percent of the original building's materials were reused or recycled, including the carpet which is made from recycled tires.
- Over 10 percent of the materials used to construct the building were harvested, manufactured and processed within 500 miles of the Center's site, reducing the environmental impacts associated with transportation and shipping building materials.
SDG&E began construction on an existing 27,000-square-foot building in late-2010 and showcases different examples of highly efficient lighting, HVAC units and leading technologies to demonstrate the choices available for businesses and design professionals to incorporate into their buildings. Many of the program offerings and design features are the result of a collaborative approach with community-based organizations, local businesses and other key stakeholders and technology sponsors.
Key features that customers can experience at the Center include:
- Smart Home experience tours; sustainability tours; Food Service Demonstration Kitchen; interactive kiosks and resource library; water-wise walkway with drought-tolerant landscape demonstrations; and a Produce Demonstration Garden.
A key component of the Center is the full commercial Food Service Demonstration Kitchen that boasts over 40 energy efficient appliances. Chefs, restaurant owners, and facility managers with commercial kitchens can test their recipes on energy efficient equipment to ensure that the updated appliances work well with their dishes.
In addition to LEED Platinum, the Energy Innovation Center was also recently honored with additional awards including the 2012 Orchid Award for Adaptable Reuse and the American Institute of Architects San Diego Chapter's Committee on the Environment Award. At the award ceremonies, the Center's architect, Hanna Gabriel Wells, was recognized for sustainable architecture that integrates buildings with the physical and cultural environment.
The Energy Innovation Center is located at 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. in San Diego and is open to the public Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. To learn more about how you can utilize the Energy Innovation Center visit www.sdge.com/eic.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric