In August of 1994, the Ridgehaven "Green Building" project began with the City's purchase of a vacant 73,000 square foot office complex. Through the inspiration and vision of former City of San Diego Mayor Susan Golding, former Environmental Services Department Director Richard L. Hays and a public/private partnership, this office complex was transformed into the City's first and most energy efficient and environmentally sensitive building.
The genesis for the Ridgehaven Building concept stemmed from the Mayor's and Environmental Services' Director's common interest of conducting a cost-effective retrofit that would implement energy-efficient and water-conservation technology into the reconstruction of a City building. Through the guiding hands of the project's partners and City staff, the building was renovated, retro-fitted and reconstructed in less than two years and turned the City's vision into a reality. Since the completion of the project, the Ridgehaven Building, its visionaries and partnering companies have received worldwide recognition for the design. Today, the building houses the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department and is the location for many environmental conferences and training sessions. The success of the building's design has contributed to the City establishing a Green Building Policy and to the Ridgehaven building becoming the leading role model for replication. While the building has earned international merit, it is considered a work in progress, as new features and technology are continually added to support and improve its sustainable yet low-cost design.