San Diego Downtown High-rise 2 Columbia Place Earns Top ENERGY STAR Certification

(Photo: Business Wire) 2 Columbia Place

December 22, 2020 03:01 AM Eastern Standard Time

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the world continues to focus efforts on combating climate change, green buildings will continue to be a global solution for cities, communities and neighborhoods. Through sustainable design, construction and operations, green buildings reduce carbon emissions, energy and waste, conserving water and lowering our exposure to toxins. In fact, buildings account for almost 40 percent of global energy-related CO2 and will play a major role in a sustainable transformation, according to the US Green Building Council.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment”

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With that in mind, commercial building owners and managers are expected to invest $960 billion globally between now and 2023 on greening their existing built infrastructure.

EMMES Realty Services of California LLC (EMMES) continues to reduce its carbon footprint, recently announcing its downtown San Diego building, 2 Columbia Place (2CP) earned a top ENERGY STAR certification of 90. The score means 2CP – a 12-story office building – is more energy efficient than 90% of similar properties nationwide.

ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants operate among the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide. To earn the ENERGY STAR, buildings have to meet strict energy performance standards set by EPA. Specifically, they must perform better than at least 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. Performance must be tracked in EPA’s Portfolio Manager Tool –which compares performance to the national average – and verified by a third-party licensed professional architect or engineer.

Why does an ENERGY STAR rating matter? Today, about 60 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are caused by commercial, residential, and industrial buildings. These harmful emissions contribute to climate change, which threatens public health and the environment around the world. ENERGY STAR certified buildings save energy, save money, and help protect the environment by generating 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings. If all U.S. buildings achieved this level of efficiency, our total national emissions would drop by about 20 percent. Many energy efficiency measures can even improve lighting levels and indoor air quality, with positive effects on occupant health and productivity.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

EMMES also has three other high-rise office buildings in downtown that are ENERGY STAR rated.

  • 1 Columbia Place | 401 W. A Street San Diego, CA 92101
    • 2020 Score: 83
  • 707 Broadway | 707 Broadway San Diego, CA 92101
    • 2020 Score: 83
  • 701B | 701 B Street San Diego, CA 921010
    • 2020 Score: 83

EMMES has installed the following features at 2CP to make the building more energy efficient:

  • A building management system to optimize energy usage and monitor where and when HVAC is used.
  • VFD (variable frequency drive) to optimize equipment operation.
  • Motion sensors and LED lighting to cut back on energy waste.
  • ENERGY STAR efficient appliances in tenant spaces.

EMMES has also earned a LEED Platinum certification for Operations + Maintenance for its Irvine property, Centerview.

“Over the past several years, EMMES has undertaken many programs to further enhance its operating efficiency and to reduce its environmental footprint, and the company plans to continue to implement these green features and practices in current and future buildings and projects,” said Justin Nguyen, associate at EMMES. “Driven by a core belief that corporations have a responsibility to their local community and the global environment, EMMES has consistently taken a strong, proactive approach to resource conservation, waste reduction, environmental protection, and sustainability with its use of state-of-the-art technology.”


EMMES Realty Services of California LLC is a member of The EMMES Group of Companies. Founded in 1992, with offices in New York and California, The EMMES Group of Companies and its affiliates are engaged in realty services, principal investments and capital management. For more information, visit


Neal Leavitt
Leavitt Communications