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New ‘Green’ Wood Shop Unveiled at Hoover by Karen Kucher
Union Tribune San Diego, February 28, 2012

SAN DIEGO — Officials are marking the completion of the $3.9 million Green Construction Technology Facility at Hoover High School, a building that will serve as the center of an academy dedicated to sustainable architecture, building trades and engineering.

A ribbon-cutting will be held Wednesday at the building, which houses a classroom and full wood shop.

“This is going to be the first official big day where the building goes into full operations,” said Shawn Loescher, director of the Office of College Career and Technical Education at the San Diego Unified School District. “This is what a wood shop looks like in the 21st century.”

The building includes an automated mill that can work from computerized designs, specialized saws and other equipment. It replaces an old wood shop at the school.

“They are going to be looking and studying how we go about designing and constructing buildings in the 21st century and beyond, really looking at energy efficiency from all aspects. Not only in the materials we use but in construction practices (on) how we lower our carbon footprint,” Loescher said.

The building, which earned the “silver” certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), has wide-open working spaces and uses less energy than comparable buildings and will demonstrate concepts students are learning. It was funded by proceeds from Proposition S, a district bond measure, as well as a state grant.

Students who enroll in the academy can take classes in general contracting and construction, architecture and engineering and fine woodwork. As many as 200 students can enroll in the academy and can receive high school and community college credit from some courses.

Karen Aguilar, a math resource teacher who is director of the academy, said students will be able to do mentorships, job shadowing and field trips to job sites.

The goal is to provide something students can connect to their classroom learning to help them stay connected to school, Aguilar said.

“It is always more interesting to learn about a field when you can see real examples of it,” Aguilar said. “It makes it so much more engaging than if it is just out of the book.”

LEED Gold Granted to UCSD Dining Hall Project
San Diego Business Journal, May 9 2011

Reno Contracting recently announced that its renovation of the Stewart Commons Dining Facility for UC San Diego has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Reno was the design-build general contractor for the project, which was built for UCSD’s Housing and Dining Department as a student dining facility for Muir College. The project earned LEED certification in the category of Commercial Interiors v2.0 in early April.

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. Reno’s renovation of the Stewart Commons Dining Facility earned 32 of the possible 57 points available to earn LEED Gold certification. The project achieved points in areas including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.

The project, which began in September 2009 and was completed in August 2010,  involved two floors encompassing approximately 28,000 square feet, including a state-of-the-art kitchen and serving center, providing services to thousands of students each day at UCSD.  The design-build team included Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker, architects; MA Engineering, mechanical engineer; Hope Engineering, structural engineer; RBF Consulting, civil engineer; Michael Wall Engineering, electrical engineer; and Drew George, LEED consultant. Leading the team for Reno was Chris Heim, project executive; Patrick Johnston, project engineer; and Dave Enos, project superintendent.

Green-building consultant excited about earth-friendly trend by Jill Blackford
The Daily Transcript, June 2007

Drew George is a pioneer in sustainability; he started working for the cause before there was a job for him in it. He is the principal of Drew George & Partners, which provides consulting services to both the government and private sector on how to use sustainable design and construction in new and existing building projects. This includes features for saving energy and reducing water consumption as well as reducing a property’s storm water runoff or using native plants for minimum water use. Green Building can be characterized as the technical approach to building to reduce environmental impact. Smart growth is where we choose to put those buildings and how we organize them. “I was working on a redesign for a client,” says George. “When I finished the redesign, I realized I had saved half a million dollars on a $1.3 million project — then I realized that I had done it with a super green solution. Not only did I save the owner money, but I realized it was a much more environmentally friendly choice. The second realization was that if I had been trying to make it green, I would’ve come up with that idea so much faster.” The earth-friendly choice can actually be the best design for the building, as well. For instance, using natural daylight versus artificial lighting both appeals to people working within the space and uses less energy. It’s that kind of win-win, George says, that gets him “totally jazzed up.”

Building Consultant Resonates Green by Pat Broderick
San Diego Business Journal, May 2007

Drew George was turning green. It happened about a decade ago, when the principal of Pacific Beach-based building consulting firm Drew George & Partners Inc. realized the many advantages of designing and building projects that help the environment, and, ultimately boost the bottom line. “We are looking at creating better space for people who inhabit the buildings , with daylight, views to the outdoors. This results in higher productivity and retention, less absenteeism, and even serves as a recruiting tool. Green buildings communicate the values of organizations. It says, ‘We care so much about you. We care about the planet,’ ” he said. “In the past six months, the whole LEED rating system has realized an acceptance by the marketplace that is phenomenal,” said George. “It’s the tipping point, the critical mass theory. Architects and manufacturers and building officials, everybody is becoming more aware of green building, especially with all of the emphasis on extreme weather and global warming.”

Beth Brummitt, president of Brummitt Energy Associates, worked with George in organizing the local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. “Drew has been very helpful and instrumental in helping green buildings get off the ground in San Diego. He has a good balance between seeing the whole picture and what is the best way to serve clients and meet their goals. It’s a great combination,” Brummitt said. She has worked with George on more than a dozen projects, including some that have gone on to earn LEED certifications, among them, Sempra Energy’s Yukon facility in Hawthorne, and its Murrieta facility, valued at about $4 million each; the $5 million George L. Stevens Senior Center in San Diego; and the $9 million San Diego Foundation’s offices at Liberty Station in Point Loma.

Building Green with Drew George by Kyle Van Buskirk
The Beach Break News, March 2007

As ecosystems disappear and climates around the globe change, people want to know what they can do to help the environment. Drew George & Partners, Inc., based in Pacific Beach is using the idea of building green, which relies on the use of sustainable materials and energy conservation, as a way to help. “This is a smarter way to look at building. How can we make green concepts cost effective?” George said. For him, this kind of problem-solving makes work fun. He’s also quick to point out that people in this field are fun to work with. “These people value their surroundings and creativity, and take risks… I tend to think of opportunities as waves. The wave doesn’t care whether you choose to take advantage of it and have fun, or if you just go your own way.  If you have some passion, a fire, and that’s all you talk about, then that’s it. That’s your job. Go do it,” George said.

DGP Channels Green Design into Two San Diego Public Facilities by Robert Carlsen
Green Building Quarterly, December 2005

San Diego will soon welcome two green public buildings destined for LEED certification – the Northwestern Division Police Substation and the George L. Stevens Senior Center. “The City is very progressive on sustainable construction. They’ve realized that it’s more cost effective to create a much better building to begin with,” said George. The design/build team for both city projects is T.B. Penick & Sons, general contractor, and Jeff Katz Architecture. The $5 Million George L. Stevens Center is a 15,000 sq ft facility that will be energy efficient with added insulation and glazing, as well as solar cells, which will satisfy 16 percent of the building’s consumption. The $15 million, two-building Northwestern Division Police Substation which includes green elements such as energy efficiency (using solar), recycling (with the demolition of the asphalt parking lot), low-flow faucets and urinals, natural ventilation, use of low VOC paints and materials and natural light.

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