April 28, 2019
The San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC) is proud to congratulate the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (BPCP) on the achievement of four LEED recertifications in our city’s beloved Balboa Park. SDGBC has a long standing history of partnership and collaboration with the leaders in Balboa Park, and their commitment to sustainability and the City’s Climate Action Plan has offered numerous opportunities for our mission to thrive. Alongside BPCP’s partnership with the City of San Diego and San Diego Gas & Electric, we were able to implement our Green Assistance Program (GAP) to complete the LEED recertification of Casa de Balboa, Casa del Prado, the Old Globe, and the Fleet Science Center.
The Green Assistance Program is one of our long-standing educational initiatives aimed at connecting local volunteers to hands-on sustainability projects. In this iteration of the program, our teams work closely with building operators and tenants by providing environmental metrics and solutions through the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification. “As a volunteer during the LEED certification of 10 Balboa Park buildings some years back, it was a privilege to be a part of this most recent recertification project.”, shared the team lead for Casa de Balboa, Robert Carr.
The LEED recertification requires the re-evaluation of energy efficiency measures, water efficiency, waste reduction strategies, green purchasing initiatives, transportation, and more within buildings. With volunteers broken into four teams, one for each building, they tackled these evaluations through on-site audits, collaborative meetings, and research. One volunteer, Hilary Haskell, stated this about the process, “The Balboa Park GAP Project taught me how to collaborate with a team to find innovative solutions that would reduce the operational footprint of an existing building.” Through this certification process, the volunteer teams have an opportunity to learn and develop skills which ultimately help their project experience, the community, and the environment.
The continued success of our Green Assistance Program is dependent on many dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers who make this program happen, like Carter Stafford, who shared this insight from his experience, “I joined the 2019 GAP to be able to get hands on experience with the LEED certification process. My expectations were exceeded; the meetings were well organized, and I truly got my hands dirty in the process. Who would've thought that waste audits could be rewarding? I learn best by doing and now I have a clearer picture of the LEED process.” The enthusiastic feedback from our members and facility leaders in Balboa Park has allowed us to broaden our scope and this year, launch our newest GAP project - aiming for LEED for Communities certification in the Park.
Since the Green Assistance Program’s inception in 2012, with the LEED Certification of the WorldBeat Cultural Center, we are excited to continue expanding the capabilities of our membership and aim for high standards of sustainability within the built environment. Thanks to all partners involved, we are proud to celebrate the efforts of each of these buildings with the achievement of their recertifications: Casa del Prado, the Fleet Science Center, and The Old Globe maintained their LEED Silver certification, and Casa de Balboa improved to LEED Gold certification.