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.
- 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.