La Jolla Commons

The La Jolla Commons site is located in the University Town Center (UTC) area of La Jolla, just north of San Diego, CA. The project encompasses a total of 12 acres and contains two individual office structures.


  • San Diego, California, USA


  • TIAA CREF, Hines

Project Status

  • Completed

Carbon Neutral

Phase I featured a 357,000 sf, 13-story Class-A office building. It was the first high-rise commercial tower to be constructed in the UTC since 1989, and was a joint venture development between TIAA-CREF and Hines.

Phase II of the project features a nearly identical 13-story Class-A office building, which is slightly larger at 415,000 sf. This building is the largest carbon-neutral office building in the country. The new building achieves carbon neutrality on an annual basis through a combination of high-performance building design, directed biogas and on-site fuel cells that annually will generate more electricity than the building and tenant will use.

Both buildings’ exteriors are made up of a glass curtain wall system incorporating highly efficient, insulated, double-paned glass with a clear, low-emissive coating. The completed Phase I tower is an architectural landmark for the city, an example of crisp modernism with highly efficient, 24,000 sf floor plates state-of-the-art operating systems, extensive campus amenities, and panoramic office views. Phase II features 32,000 sf floor plates.

For cooling, a high-efficiency variable speed central chilled water plant provides chilled water to dual-path Air Handling Units (AHU) on each floor. The dual-path AHUs incorporate a revolutionary combination of overhead air distribution to the building perimeter and underfloor air distribution to the building interior. This unique design not only takes advantage of the energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality improvements inherent to an underfloor air system but virtually eliminates mechanical heating by capturing the heat generated at the interior zones and using it to heat the perimeter zones. Heating, when necessary, is provided by two forced-draft, hot-water boilers with a variable speed pumping distribution system.