LA JOLLA, Calif. — The United States Green Building Council has certified the new central plant at UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center as a LEED Gold building, the first stand-alone medical center energy plant to achieve this distinction. The 40,000-square-foot plant, built by Kitchell and designed by CannonDesign and consulting firm exp, with environmental services provided by Ecotype Consulting, will ultimately support 900,000 square feet of hospital space with the capacity to serve 1 million square feet of future expansion.
The scorecard released by USGBC identified the following areas where the plant met or exceeded criteria to achieve Gold status with a total of 60 points: Sustainable Sites (23 of 26); Water Efficiency (7 of 10); Energy & Atmosphere (4 of 35); Material & Resources (7 of 14); Indoor Environmental Quality (10 of 15); Innovation (5 of 6) and Regional Priority Credits (4 of 4).
“The central utilities plant provides electricity, back-up electricity, steam, hot water and chilled water to Thornton Hospital and the new Jacobs Medical Center,” said Dee Davis, consultant and project manager for UC San Diego. “UC San Diego is very responsible. We realize we are in a drought. We want to build better and greener. Achieving LEED Gold validates these efforts and we are thrilled.”
The two-story building includes:
- Three 1,300-ton chillers which will generate enough chilled water to fill 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools each day
- Three 3,900 gpm cooling towers
- Three 21,000-lb/hr steam boilers capable of creating steam to heat 1,000 homes daily
- Four 2.5 megawatt emergency generators that can generate enough electricity to power 10,000 homes
- Two 30,000 gallon underground fuel tanks
- 1,000,000 lbs (500 tons) of structural steel, equivalent to 416 automobiles
- 3,000-square-foot underground utility tunnel for mechanical utility routing
- 9000 cubic yards of concrete, enough to cover six footballs field with a one-foot layer of concrete