Hines Builds Net-Zero-Energy Commercial Office Building

Global Real Estate firm Hines is constructing a 13-story, 415,000-sq-foot building at La Jolla Commons in San Diego that will achieve carbon neutrality on an annual basis through a combination of high-performance building design, directed biogas and on-site fuel cells.

The building will generate annually more electricity than the building and tenant will use.

The building design incorporates an under-floor air system, advanced curtain wall materials and other features that reduce the energy required to operate the facility.

The fuel cells, acquired from Bloom Energy, will generate approximately 5.0 million KWh of electricity annually. The fuel cells convert methane into electricity in a non-combustion process. Sufficient methane for the system will be acquired from carbon-neutral sources, such as landfills and wastewater plants, and placed into the national natural gas pipeline system. The fuel cell system will contribute to California’s goal of deriving a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The building will be fully leased and occupied by LPL Financial. It is being developed and will be owned by a partnership of Hines and institutional investors advised by JP Morgan Asset Management.

Construction began in April 2012, and completion is scheduled for mid-2014.

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