La Jolla Commons

Sustainability Statistics

LEED Platinum Certification


  • Two trees were saved.
  • 350 trees were planted.
  • 76% of the site is planted.
  • Native or adaptive plant types were used.
  • The project avoids annual planting.
  • Drought tolerant grasses and succulents were planted, requiring minimal water.


  • Stormwater features are designed into amenities.
  • The site design mitigates runoff with curbless entry drives and parking areas in linear bioswales that run throughout the park.
  • 100% reclaimed water is used for irrigation.
  • The design reduces outdoor water usage through plant selection.
  • Trees have the potential for intercepting 175,000 gallons of water which are equivalent to the water usage for 175 American residents for one day.*

Carbon, Energy + Air 

  • The project uses regional materials.
  • The project reduces light pollution with cutoff light fixtures and tree uplights.
  • The project used renewable sources for landscape electricity needs.
  • The planting strategy reduces temperatures in urban areas.
  • During construction, pollutants were controlled and retained.
  • Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was minimized through designated smoke-free zones and prohibited smoking on-site.
  • The trees sequester 42,000 pounds of carbon annually, which is equivalent to a standard car driving 56,590 miles.**


  • Sustainability in material manufacturing was supported, by using locally sourced decomposed granite, plant material and paving.
  • Materials not needed on-site were recycled.


  • The office boasts resort style amenities and a peaceful environment, perfect for employee health and well-being. A basketball court, putting green, dining terrace, lounge chairs by a fire feature, and a shaded plaza offer interactive spaces for employees to collaborate.
  • The project supports alternative modes of transportation.
  • The project provides optimal site accessibility, safety, and wayfinding.

* The tree average for water interception is 500 gallons. American’s use an average of 100 gallons of water per day (EPA’s water trivia facts)

** 120 pounds of CO2 per tree annually (This number is based on an average from the National Tree Benefits Calculator) One car produces an average of 8,320 pounds of CO2 per year. Each vehicle drives an average of 11,318 miles per year. (The Code of Federal Regulations - 40 CFR 600.113)

La Jolla Commons

Located in the University Town Center district of San Diego, La Jolla Commons is an 18-acre, three-phase office and hotel development organized around a two-acre green space. Hines Interests engaged the Office of James Burnett to develop the central garden in conjunction with the phase two tower, a 13-story, 300,000 SF Class A commercial office tower and one of the largest Net Zero buildings in the United States. Working with notable Los Angeles architect Paul Danna, OJB created a campus with a relaxed Southern California atmosphere and resort-style amenities.

Sweeping pedestrian promenades define the function lawn and organize circulation between the two office towers, the expanded on-site parking structure and an additional parking structure across Executive Drive. A basketball court and putting green are located at the perimeter of the site; interior amenities include a dining terrace, a gravel court with a fire feature and lounge chairs, and a shaded plaza with a reflecting basin and movable furniture.

The landscape design contributes to the Net Zero certification by employing Low Impact Design strategies. Site grading directs runoff from the curbless entry drive and parking areas into a linear bioswale that runs the length of the park. The planting design incorporates sweeping masses of jewel-toned succulents and drought tolerant grasses appropriate to the Southern California climate.

Location: La Jolla, CA
Team: AECOM, Leppert Engineering, Nabih Yousef Associates, WSP Flack + Kurtz, HMA Consulting
LEED: Platinum Certified
Awards: ASLA San Diego Honor Award, Design