C.W. Driver Companies, a premier builder serving California since 1919, in partnership with The Miller Hull Partnership, an award-winning architecture, planning, urban and interior architecture firm, today announced the completion of the County of San Diego’s new East County Office and Archives office in Santee. The single-story, 25,000-square-foot building is slated to be the nation’s first zero net energy (ZNE) archive facility, meets LEED® Gold certification and aligns with the County’s long-term energy goals.

Located at 10144 Mission Gorge Road, the facility houses nearly 60 county employees from several governmental and administrative departments. The new building is designed to be welcoming to the public, highly functional and supportive of a productive work environment for staff. At the East County Office and Archives, the public can access services ranging from property records and tax collection to historical records and civil wedding ceremonies. Staff can enjoy outdoor break space and open office areas that provide natural light as well as views of the surrounding landscape.

“As the nation’s first zero net energy archive facility, Santee’s East County Office and Archives underscores the County of San Diego’s commitment to seeking out cutting-edge practices to meet long-term energy efficiency goals,” said C.W. Driver Companies project executive, Andy Feth. “Our expertise in zero net energy construction combined with Miller Hull’s experience creating environmentally responsible designs enables us to apply a 360-degree approach to this project. The outcome is a sustainable building that enhances both the community and environment.”

The new East County Office and Archives was designed using a “reduce before you produce” methodology, focused on minimizing energy usage so less renewable generation is necessary. The facility utilizes a 252-kWh per year photovoltaic system to provide enough energy for the entire building, with a five percent buffer for future growth. It also features a combination of passive systems, such as strategic building orientation and natural ventilation, as well as high-efficiency envelope and mechanical systems, lighting power reductions, plug-load reductions and operational changes that will reduce energy consumption by the end-user. In addition, the facility uses bioswales – a vegetated storm water management system – to reduce runoff and improve water quality.

Special care and attention was placed on the archives’ mechanical and lighting control systems and envelope design to ensure a climate-controlled space suitable for delicate documents, including hand-drawn maps; birth, marriage and death certificates; deeds and parcel maps from the 1800s as well as a letter from President Abraham Lincoln granting land to the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia.

C.W. Driver Companies retains a rich portfolio of civic projects for the County of San Diego. They include the Ramona Branch Library, Fallbrook Branch Library and the Alpine Branch Library, also a zero net energy building.

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