San Diego park stepping up environmental game
San Diego’s Balboa Park is now home to 10 LEED buildings as part of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership’s (BPCP) vision to become an exemplar of sustainable practices, according to a release.
Parks around the globe have been exploring sustainability through climate change adaptation strategies, energy and water efficiencies, waste reduction and community resilience. Several years ago, San Diego Gas & Electric, the city of San Diego and BPCP recognized a need for the locality considers a cultural crown jewel, and one of the nation’s oldest urban parks, to stay current with the environmental initiatives that have become standard in today’s world.
Less than 10 years later, the collaboration of these and other partners reached noteworthy achievements:
- Ten buildings, dating back to 1911, are now LEED-certified and showcase diversity of buildings with smaller environmental footprints.
- Energy retrofits saves more than 9 million kWh, the equivalent of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 1,450 passenger vehicles for one year.
- Water retrofits of existing buildings’ indoor plumbing fixtures save 3.2 million gallons of water annually, the equivalent of nearly five Olympic swimming pools.
- Sustainability education has reached more than 9,000 visitors and staff through behind the scenes tours, a pop-up sustainability exhibit, workshops and trainings.
Officials consider this a significant milestone, given Balboa Park’s aging infrastructure, limited maintenance funding, quantity and diversity of stakeholders and varied community uses—all challenges parks around the nation face.
Next, the group is looking to focus on building automation, composting and increased renewable energy generation.
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Companies: U.S. Green Building Council