The Encinitas Civic Center recently became one of the first municipal centers in Southern California to earn an exceptionally high rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its outstanding sustainability features.
The rating—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver—takes many aspects into account, including energy and water conservation efforts, cleaning policies and waste-reduction strategies.
In its Encinitas NOW newsletter, city staff outlined the several years of work that has helped them achieve this status:
- In 2008 the city replaced the Civic Center’s aging 49,000-square-foot roof and air conditioning system—which resulted in a 35 percent reduction in energy consumption and saved about $35,000 per year.
- The redesign included a solar photovoltaic (PV) system and HVAC modification. There’s also a 120-ton water-cooled central plant that makes chilled water and ice at night when electrical rates are much lower, which is then stored and used during the daytime to cool the building.
- Skylights were also added to provide more natural light.
- City staff also goes paperless whenever possible. City council agendas are all shared electronically, and if printing is required, it’s automatically done on both sides of the paper. In an effort to remind city employees to recycle, they each keep a tiny trashcan on their desk that reads ‘This is all the garbage I make.’
USGBC officials will present the LEED plaque to the Encinitas City Council at its Sept. 12 meeting.
The city also plans to apply for another LEED as it moves forward with the construction of the new Fire Station #2 at 618 Birmingham Drive.
For more information on LEED, visit http://www.usgbc.org/