The Ridgehaven Building is a relatively nondescript 1981 commercial office building that was renovated for the City of San Diego's Environmental Services Department. The renovation provided an opportunity to showcase cost-effective energy efficiency improvements, resulting in a remarkably efficient building for a very reasonable price.
Goals for the project were healthy indoor air quality, resource efficiency, and efficient building operations. The following criteria to address these goals were ultimately included in the project specifications: minimize the environmental impact of selected materials, systems, and construction; create a healthful work environment by minimizing material chemical emissions; improve indoor air quality through mechanical systems selection and construction; maximize resource conservation and recycling in both material selection and construction; and maximize energy conservation through mechanical and electrical system efficiency.
Healthy indoor air quality was a primary goal since some of the EDS employees had chemical sensitivities. Additionally, the city wanted to avoid any issues with sick building syndrome and wanted to create a healthful work environment.