The U.S. Green Building Council Institute recently announced the newest U.S. facility to earn the prestigious – the Sony Electronics (SEL) headquarters building in San Diego. The LEED certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
“When we began laying out initial plans for our headquarters, we knew we wanted green to play a major role in its construction,” said Ed Cotter, Executive Vice President, Sony Electronics. “As a major consumer electronics company, we take sustainability very seriously and seek out efforts to reduce our environmental footprint wherever possible.”
The building design integrated a number of green elements in accordance with the Green Building Council’s LEED requirements, including 80 bicycle racks, 140 spaces reserved for vehicles opting to carpool, and 76 set aside for fuel-efficient vehicles, to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Climate change remains a big environmental problem throughout the globe,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “But innovative companies like Sony Electronics are helping address the issue through local solutions such as building sustainable facilities.”
SEL maneuvered more than 92 percent of the building construction debris away from local landfills. In addition, open space accounts for 29 percent of the lot, with vegetation making up 52 percent more than double the requirement.
Building materials, local resources
Nearly 15 percent of the buildings materials are local, garnered from within 500 miles of the sites location in the Rancho Bernardo community. A minimum of 75 percent of the wood used in the framing, flooring and furniture is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council a non-profit organization that promotes the responsible management of the world s forests and 47 percent of the building materials have been manufactured using recycled materials.
The buildings use of low-flow water fixtures ensures rates of water usage up to 47 percent lower than current codes, in conjunction with the use of condensate water from air-conditioning units. The building also captures 90 percent of storm water runoff onsite.
Energy and atmosphere
SEL designed its headquarters to maximize energy performance by 22.6 percent with the installation of lighting sensors throughout the building in addition to variable speed drives for A/C units.
Solar panels are installed on the building’s parking garage to collect energy for the local utility company, a feature that offsets nearly five percent of the total energy cost. The buildings designers also optimized the use of natural lighting in its construction 75 percent of the facilities total square footage receives natural sunlight.