Swinerton Builders San Diego: March 04, 2013
A Lean and Green Transformation for Swinerton’s New Net-Zero Office
Swinerton Builders San Diego recently opened the doors to its relocated office in Rancho Bernardo. Swinerton transformed a vacant industrial storage facility into a 24,000-square-foot, single-story office space. From the beginning, Swinerton’s goal was to honor its commitment to green building practices by converting the existing tilt-up structure into a highly functional, net-zero energy building, for which they are currently seeking LEED Platinum certification. Swinerton worked with local subcontractors and self-performed portions of the construction work, while teaming with local interior design firm ID Studios to maximize the building’s existing characteristics and incorporate sustainable design strategies. “Our own project team was integrally involved in design and construction of the office and provided great input. It is a much hipper space than we old guys would have come up with!” joked Chris Day, Vice President of Swinerton Builders.
Energy-saving natural light floods the office through eight GPS-tracked skylights. Additional light enters the space through dozens of windows cut in during the renovation, as well as storefront glazing put in place of the building’s old dock doors. “Not only did we reduce our operating expenses, we are now working in a very bright, high-energy, high-collaboration environment,” said Day. All mechanical, plumbing, electrical, data, and fire sprinkler elements are exposed to fully utilize the 18-foot ceilings. The walls of open-top offices vary in height but do not extend to the roofline, maximizing the open space created by high ceilings while maintaining workspace privacy.
The old loading dock area in the back of the building was converted to an open patio with a garden and citrus trees. Used for entertaining guests, the patio is connected to the office’s large, open kitchen and lounge area by two glass garage doors. A structure composed of frameless solar panels provides shade for the patio as well as power for an electric car charging station near the building’s entrance. A 75 KW photovoltaic solar array atop the roof offsets 100% of the building’s annual energy consumption.
Natural and recycled materials appear throughout the building, including recycled glass countertops and accents of repurposed barn wood and Java wood. During construction, recycled building components and FSC-certified products were used wherever possible, and low-VOC paints, glues, and adhesives were required. Photos of these features can be viewed on Swinerton’s Flickr page.
Swinerton’s San Diego office is a model for the company’s green building initiatives, as well as a fun and modern workspace enjoyed by employees and clients alike. The project is also a prime example of repositioning underperforming assets, which are major sources of real estate opportunity in many of California’s metropolitan areas. Visitors are welcome to stop by the office for a tour. Those interested can contact Chris Day at (858) 622-4040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recognized nationally since 1888 and celebrating their 125th Anniversary this year, the Swinerton Family of Companies provides commercial construction and construction management services throughout the United States and is a 100% employee-owned company. From multi-million-dollar facilities to minor renovations, Swinerton Builders San Diego offers a full range of services in the general building, tenant improvement, construction management, and renewable energy markets. For more information on Swinerton, visit their blog SwinertonBuildsTomorrow, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and LinkedIn.
Meggie Hollywood, Corporate Marketing Director