Biogas in the Office
Today I caught wind of a biogas project at a huge office building under development in San Diego, which when complete will be the largest carbon-neutral office building in the U.S., according to developers Hines and J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
La Jolla Commons Tower II is a 13-story, 415,000-square foot building currently under construction in the Westfield University Town Centre. It’s net-zero status will be achieved through a combination of high-performance building design, directed biogas and on-site fuel cells that will generate more electricity that the building and its tenants will require.
I looked up a little more information on the project, and learned that the fuel cells, acquired from Bloom Energy, will generate approximately 5 million KWh of electricity annually, from directed biogas originating from area landfills and wastewater treatment plants.
That’s roughly equivalent to generating the power required to power 1,000 San Diego homes.
Might I add that Bloom Energy has a good video on their website describing how its fuel cells work; it’s worth checking out.
Construction of the project began in April 2012, and completion is scheduled for mid-2014, according to Hines.
It sounds like Hines, an international real estate, investment and development company, plans to take lessons learned at this project and use them to apply similar carbon-neutral technologies to other properties.
Hopefully biogas will continue play a role in their endeavors, as well as in those of others who might model their own projects off of what is done at the La Jolla Commons Tower.