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Hines Real Estate Breaks Ground on Nation’s Largest Carbon-Neutral Building

Posted By Beth Buczynski On December 12, 2012 @ 1:26 pm In Architecture,Green Building | No Comments

Hines, real estate, commercial building, green building, La Jolla Commons II, net zero, carbon neutral [1]

To create a true net-zero building [2], one that literally generates as much or more energy than it consumes, is no easy task. Still, it’s a task that makes good business sense. After all, buildings consume a huge amount of energy, which cuts into profit margins. This simple equation finally hit home with Hines [3], the international real estate firm, and equity partner J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The two are partnering to build a new 13-story, 415,000-square-foot building at La Jolla Commons [4] in San Diego that will become the nation’s largest carbon-neutral office building to date.

Hines, real estate, commercial building, green building, La Jolla Commons II, net zero, carbon neutral [5]

In order to achieve this rare feat, the building will utilize combination of high-performance building design, directed biogas and on-site fuel cells that annually will generate more electricity than tenants will use. The fuel cells, made by Bloom Energy [6], will generate approximately 5.0 million KWh of electricity annually, which is roughly equivalent to the electricity required to power 1,000 San Diego homes. Methane [7] needed to power the fuel cells will be acquired from carbon-neutral sources, such as landfills and wastewater plants, and placed into the national natural gas pipeline system. The building’s exterior is predominately a glass curtainwall system incorporating highly efficient, insulated, double-paned glass with a clear, low-emissive coating.

Hines views its newest building, which will also contain a highly efficient under-floor air system, as a sort of ongoing R&D project. “Our net-zero project at La Jolla Commons gives us a great foundation for furthering the use of carbon-neutral technologies and fuels,” said Gary Holtzer [8], Hines’ global sustainability officer. “Our next step is to adapt what we have learned and apply it to an existing urban property in a less temperate environment.”

Construction on the carbon neutral building began in April 2012 and completion is scheduled for mid-2014.

+ Hines [3]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/hines-real-estate-breaks-ground-on-nations-largest-carbon-neutral-building/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/12/La-Jolla-Commons-II_Rendering_NE-Elevation_Med.jpg

[2] net-zero building: http://inhabitat.com/tag/net-zero/

[3] Hines: http://www.hines.com/home/default.aspx

[4] La Jolla Commons: http://www.ljcommons.com/tower2.asp

[5] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/12/La-Jolla-Commons-II_Rendering_2.jpg

[6] Bloom Energy: http://inhabitat.com/tag/bloom-energy/

[7] Methane: http://inhabitat.com/tag/methane/

[8] said Gary Holtzer: http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/topix/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20121212005936&newsLang=en&ndmConfigId=1000639&vnsId=41

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