Kearny Mesa Commercial Site
Headquartered in San Diego, Solar Turbines Inc. (a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc) manufactures industrial gas turbines for electric power generation, gas compression and pumping systems. In alignment with corporate sustainability goals, leaders at Solar Turbines’ Kearny Mesa facility wanted to conserve water in response to severe shortages.
Solar Turbines hired Marum Partnership to design a low-water-use landscape that involved innovative changes in land management at the Kearny Mesa site. Turf areas were replaced with water-efficient “showpiece” plants. High-efficiency irrigation components including inline drip tubing and rotator nozzles were installed, along with “smart” irrigation controllers that are tied to weather station data. Bark mulch was added to retain soil moisture. Existing mounds were sculpted into river beds, creating a network of swales to capture rain water. Decomposed granite pathways were added, allowing stormwater to percolate rather than run off-site. Soil was amended with organic material to improve moisture retention.
- Solar Turbines achieved an 83 percent reduction in landscape water consumption.
- The company conserved roughly five million gallons within two years.
- The award-winning landscape became an enduring source of corporate pride.