San Diego Library Achieves Energy Efficiency through Savings By Design Program

San Diego Library Achieves Energy Efficiency through Savings By Design Program

The Mission Hills-Hillcrest Harley & Bessie Knox Library is not just a beautiful facility that blends in well in a neighborhood filled with craftsman-styled homes, it also is a showcase for sustainable and energy efficient construction. The opening of the newest City of San Diego library was the culmination of specific design and construction planning that included a unique partnership with SDG&E.

The 14,000-square-foot facility qualified for financial and design support under SDG&E’s Savings By Design Program. The program, which seeks to encourage the design and construction of high-performance projects that offer economic, health and environmental advantages to stakeholders, provides financial incentives for incorporating energy efficient features as part of the design and building process. Program benefits can include up to $150,000 in building owner incentives, additional 10% bonus incentive opportunities and design assistance services and resources matched to the project’s needs.

In pursuit of LEED Gold Certification, the single-story community library was able to incorporate energy efficient and green technologies to help secure greater savings and sustainability. Energy-efficient features included a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) mechanical system, LED lighting with occupancy and daylight sensors, drought-tolerant landscaping, stormwater treatment area, and a 28-kW roof-mounted solar system.

The expert design of the building was rivaled only by the attention to detail that went into the aesthetics of the facility. The sustainability features were masterfully woven into the look-and-feel of the building, matching the design characteristics of the communities it serves. Intricate wood detailing adorns an open main reading room, teen and young children spaces, study rooms and computer labs that are completely open to the public.  

The Mission Hills-Hillcrest Harley & Bessie Knox Library is one of seven libraries in the region that have qualified for the Savings By Design Program. Since its inception in 2000, the program; a result of the state energy crisis, has successfully supported high efficiency design across a myriad of non-residential new construction projects in the region. Achieving energy efficiency and greater sustainability is made possible by planning and collaboration at the start of a new construction project. To learn more about the Savings By Design Program and building owner incentives, please visit SDG&E’s new construction webpage.