The San Diego Green Building Council’s initiatives are a mix of staff-driven projects, volunteer-led concepts, and innovative collaborations with local partners. Our initiative topics are as broad as the expertise of our community members, and they reflect the complexity and dynamic nature of the change needed in the green building sector. All of the initiatives are designed to carry our mission principles to inspire, educate, and collaborate with our community to make a meaningful impact in our region’s sustainability goals.
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Green Assistance Program (GAP)
GAP is an initiative that has a trifold purpose to green San Diego’s buildings, provide hands-on green building experience for aspiring leaders, and to create a platform for collaboration among local stakeholders. To do this, SDGBC works with a local nonprofit in need of greening their building operations and the facility is then used as an educational case study. The greening process is conducted by volunteer participants who are interested in learning and contributing back to the community.
To date we have worked with distinguished local nonprofits such as The Old Globe Theatre, Ronald McDonald Charities of San Diego, The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Museum of Man, and many more.
Every year the San Diego Green Building Council hosts a Green Apple Day of Service to connect the resources of local companies to San Diego’s schools. Since 2012, we have worked with the Balfour Beatty Construction San Diego office to bring materials and skilled volunteers to build gardens, playgrounds, and beautify school spaces. We engage teachers and students to create fun projects that connect learning experiences with nature, outdoor activities, and promote sustainability in learning curriculums.
Some of the school projects we have worked on to date include Encinitas Farm Lab, KIPP Adelante, and Hickman Elementary School.
One of our largest annual events takes place every fall to showcase San Diego’s greenest residential projects to our community members. Run entirely by our volunteers from the Residential Committee, this fun and engaging tour is a great way to learn what residential green buildings look like in San Diego County’s various climates. Join us each fall and see how creative local architects, builders, landscape architects, and homeowners achieve green projects on small and large scales.
Zero Net Energy Initiative
The San Diego Green Building Council partners with the Center for Sustainable Energy and the City of San Diego to support achieving zero net energy goals for three local public libraries. The project includes a retrofit of the library buildings, development of a community engagement program, and developing a precedent for the City of San Diego’s future zero net energy projects. We also partner with the CivicSpark initiative to complete the program deliverables and provide learning opportunities for aspiring new sustainability leaders.
Net Zero Water Initiative
Inspired by the Living Building Challenge and generously funded by the San Diego Foundation, the Net Zero Water Initiative is an effort to raise awareness among practitioners and policymakers about the technology and design opportunities for net zero water buildings.
San Diego Green Business Corner
San Diego’s small- to the medium-sized business community is the backbone of our City’s spirit. Thanks to the generous funding from the City of San Diego and SDG&E, we work with the local Business Improvement Districts and small businesses to provide assistance in greening their operations. We engage a broad range of volunteers in this effort, including college students, as they help us with the site assessments and sustainable strategy development for the local business community.