The nation’s first zero net energy archive facility is now complete in San Diego County. The property is a 25,000-square-foot, single-story property with zero net energy and LEED Gold certification (pending). The project is part of San Diego County’s aggressive strategic energy plan, which includes energy and water efficiency in new construction buildings. C.W. Driver Cos. was the contractor on the project, with the Miller Hull Partnership serving as architect.

“The general goal is to design a facility and site where the renewable energy production on site meets or exceeds the energy consumption of the site and the building,” Eric Schultz, project manager at C.W. Driver, tells “It requires continuous energy modeling through the design process and even through the construction process as there are design changes and owner-requested changes. In a design-build model, we need to be constantly looking at the design, but the energy modeling also has to be in alignment with everything else. It is a new element, and a challenge in itself.”

The project was built using a design-build model, and as a result, C.W. Driver was involved in the early stages of the project as well as construction. This helped the County achieve its lofty goals. “We worked closely with the County from the request for proposal phase through the design phase,” says Schultz. We had regular meetings with the County to develop the design and all of the different program requirements that the County was looking for. The County had a very clear vision, originating from the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which adopted new measures for all new construction. The County of San Diego approved a strategic energy plan that emphasized all new construction would be energy and water efficient.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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