Beyond Platinum City Hall Proposal

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According to the Union-Tribune, a $432 million project is making its way to San Diego City Council for consideration as the new San Diego City Hall.  Although still in early stages, developer Gerding Edlen indicates that the design is beyond LEED Platinum, and according to some, it could be one of the greenest buildings on the West Coast if built.  The 23-story building, with a design that kind of resembles a large sail, has some of the following green elements:

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  • Solar thermal panels that offset about 75% of total hot water demand;
  • Solar PV panels that provide roughly 8% of total energy use;
  • Natural light, efficient lights, and smart controls that reduce energy consumed by 9%;
  • Small wind turbines that generate supplemental electricity;
  • Waste water that's treated on-site for reuse and to be exported elsewhere;
  • A green roof to capture and filter rainwater; and
  • An efficient chilled water system that cools the building.  

The Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects design is handsome and innovative, and if San Diego decides to build something, they'd be in good hands with Gerding Edlen.  The company has considerable experience with LEED projects, as well as a cutting edge Living Building Challenge project called the Oregon Sustainability Center.  In any event, only time will tell as the new green San Diego City Hall still has a number of details to be determined. 

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Rendering credits: Gerding Edlen; Livable Place Rendering: GED.


  • Anonymous

    It’s an attractive design in many ways, and I love the energy efficiencies, water reuse and treatment features, etc., – BUT – talk about first impressions: from the full-height perspectives above, does it make anyone else think of a standing couch potato with a beer belly? I hate to say it, but that unflattering image is the first thing that comes to mind – and a sail isn’t even close.

  • http://mportlandhomes.com/ M Realty

    Very cool looking building. Hopefully they will be able to get this approved and built. If city hall embraces green minded ideas, then other people will follow suit. Its fantastic that the policymakers and city workers would be able to go to this green building to work everyday.

    -Tyler

  • Anonymous

    Who is the Architect that designed the building?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Preston, thanks for the informative post. Its nice to see such green designs coming up of late. More and more designers are becoming conscious of the fact that their designs need to be more eco conscious to be cutting edge. This is a very good trend. Everyone would be benefited by this, especially if it is a public building to be used by a number of people.

    Nice post!
    Joost Hoogstrate

  • Anonymous

    It looks like a mini-Ritz Carlton in downtown LA.

  • Name

    i hate this building. san diego needs a new stadium for the chargers. if we don’t get a stadium built, then san diego will not have a professional football team that brings in business and revenue. what will a new city hall bring, nothing. we, as san diegans need to vote where our taxpaying dollars go towards, and that should be a new stadium.

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