December 25, 2013 Alex Spire

Miramar College Administration Building

Services: LEED Project Management (BD+C v3 Gold)
Location: San Diego, CA
Area: 17,258 square feet
Client: Pankow / IBI Group

The Miramar College Administration Building is a new office building for the San Diego Community College District on the Miramar College Campus. With over 200 daily visitors, the building was designed to be a high-performance energy and water efficient project.

The project originally targeted LEED Silver certification, but was able to incorporate a variety of innovative green building strategies that allowed the team to outperform the original target certification level and achieve Gold certification. Key to this project’s success was an integrated design and construction team that focused on close coordination between all disciplines in order to maximize sustainability performance throughout the design and construction phase.

The project is sited on a dense urban campus having many basic services within a half-mile walking distance, which promotes community connectivity. The building’s close proximity to public transportation promotes car-free living and the associated reduction in carbon emissions. In fact, there are so many bus lines within a quarter mile of the site that an exemplary performance point for double transit ridership was awarded on the LEED scorecard. One significant challenge the project overcame was documenting public transportation access for a planned, but not yet completed, transit terminal directly adjacent to the project. The team was able to include these bus lines since the terminal was completed within a few months of the project.

The project team was able to meet high performance energy targets with a 24 percent reduction in energy demand below ASHRAE 90.1-2007 requirements through the use of multiple energy-saving strategies, one of the most notable being daylighting. With at least 90 percent of all occupied seated spaces in the building having access to daylight and views, there was less need for artificial lighting as well as more satisfied and productive occupants. The project team was also able to meet high water efficiency targets through the use of public agency sourced, non-potable treated water to replace 100 percent of all potable water used for landscaping. A 54 percent reduction in total water use for landscaping also was achieved through the use of low and medium water use vegetation.

In order to demonstrate a commitment to the broader community and the global environment, the team pursued a focus on recycled content and regional materials, with 21 percent of materials (by cost) sourced regionally within 500 miles and 19 percent of materials (by cost) used on the project containing recycled content.

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