Increasing Green Building Operations in Balboa Park

Kathryn SalazarSustainability Program

Though some organizations in Balboa Park have not reopened, many are taking the opportunity to plan for improvements to their facilities. Our program assisted in enrolling Casa de Balboa, House of Hospitality, Japanese Friendship Garden, Museum of Us, San Diego Natural History Museum, Spanish Village Art Center, The San Diego Museum of Art, The Old Globe, and the Timken Museum of Art into SDG&E’s Comprehensive Audit Program (CAP) to undergo no-cost building energy audits. The Sustainability Program oversees sustainability and energy records of the buildings in Balboa Park and found this to be the opportune time for several buildings in the Park to complete an energy audit or receive an updated audit if it was last done over 4 years ago. Building energy audits are a great way to get a baseline of the facility’s energy consumption and performance, track energy efficiency progress, and uncover new energy-saving and cost reduction opportunities.

       

Our program is working closely with members to develop energy efficiency roadmaps to further increase green building operations. Willdan Energy Solutions engineers are performing facility walk-throughs at the buildings to gather information on the energy infrastructure and mechanical systems in place and how they are operated in the museum, garden, theater, and art center settings. The buildings in Balboa Park have many unique operations and facility staff provide the Willdan team with their experience and knowledge of these historic buildings, as well as input of potential energy saving opportunities that they’d like to explore. The buildings will receive a Category I audit which will provide an equipment inventory and recommendations on best energy-saving measures and high-level estimates of measure costs, energy savings, and payback periods. After the walk-throughs are complete, a report will be developed and presented to facility staff detailing how and where energy is being consumed, and provide an analysis of demand reduction and energy savings opportunities. Projects and actions may include billing rate reviews, lighting upgrades or controls, maintenance or replacement recommendations for HVAC, chillers, boilers and other equipment, demand response programs, or battery storage to reduce on-peak billing costs, or solar panels to offset their energy use with renewable energy. Along with these recommendations, available SDG&E incentive, rebate, and financing options that may help reduce project costs are included.

The audit reports will be a valuable resource to the facility staff and organizations in making informed decisions towards greener building operations. In utilizing SDG&E programs and resources, like the Comprehensive Audit Program, many organizations in the Park have been able to improve building operations, increase energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions which benefits Balboa Park’s green future.