LEEDING With Green Buildings

It’s easy to talk about importance of making our homes and businesses more energy-efficient – how doing so can help save money, benefit the environment, and reduce stress on the grid, particularly during hot summer days. It’s another thing to walk the talk.

This has been an important component of SDG&E being a responsible neighbor in the community.

Nine of our buildings have LEED certifications – LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”– and we are working to get more of our facilities to meet LEED criteria.                              

A Showcase for Green Remodeling

Our Century Park East office building – a recent extension of our headquarters in Kearny Mesa – has a Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The 92,000-square-foot building, which underwent extensive remodeling, embodies best practices in energy efficiency, water conservation, and clean transportation, as well as designs to enhance employee wellness. Below are key highlights of the facility:

  • Energy Efficiency – 44 percent reduction in lighting power achieved through low radiant heat windows, low-partitioned workstations and tubular-daylighting devices, all of which help bring natural light into interior spaces. In addition, the cafeteria is equipped with a high percentage of commercial food and service equipment appliances that carry the Energy Star rating.
  • Water Savings42 percent reduction in water use achieved through highly-efficient plumbing fixtures, such as metered faucets and low-flow water closets. These upgrades are helping to save 460,000 gallons of water per year.
  • Clean TransportationOn-site electric vehicle charging stations, access to public transit, and ample bike parking so employees have low-carbon ways to get to and from work.
  • Clean Air - 30 percent increase in airflow from outside. The project used low-emitting materials, including paints, coatings, sealants, adhesives, flooring, and furniture, which help reduce indoor air contaminants.
  • Waste Reduction73 percent of construction waste from remodeling the facility was recycled. Reusable materials were diverted from the landfill and reused or re-purposed.

Where You Can Learn More About Green Buildings

The SDG&E Energy Innovation Center in the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego is a great place to start if you want to get some ideas on how to increase the efficiency of your home or business. When it first opened in 2012, the center was one of ten double-LEED platinum buildings in the world.

The center offers self-guided tours for visitors to learn about myriad ways to reduce their energy and water consumption – everything from using a smart speaker to control lighting and air conditioning to installing low-flow devices to building a water-wise urban garden. You will walk out of there knowing exactly what a “green” building is.