Chula Vista Smart Waterfront

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Chula Vista Smart Waterfront
GCTC logo 344x80.png
Chula Vista Bayfront
Team Organizations Black and Veatch
Cleantech San Diego
Port of San Diego CA
Team Leaders Dennis Gakunga
Participating Municipalities Chula Vista CA
San Diego CA
Status Launched
Document None


The Chula Vista smart waterfront is a 535 acre joint development by City of Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego – currently the largest waterfront development project on the U.S. West Coast. The development is groundbreaking in its approach to energy efficiency in (1) targeting 50 percent reduction in annual energy use for the development and (2) each building performing at least 15 percent better than Title 24 requirements in the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Recognizing the need to monitor and control this new energy infrastructure, the Bayfront project also focuses on the communications network technologies and smart infrastructure solutions that will provide operational efficiency, sustainability, and economic development opportunities for the City. The Project team, led by Black & Veatch, is focused on evaluating the three major components of energy, telecom, and smart infrastructure – determining solutions that will meet the aggressive energy goals and provide a foundational, scalable approach to future communications and smart city applications.


The Team is focused around three key areas of energy, communications, and smart infrastructure – the challenges and solutions for each are as follows:

  • The 50% energy reduction target is aggressive and will drive the Team to focus on identifying innovative technologies, distributed energy sources, renewable energy options, and energy efficiency measures that will make this achievable. The Team is also considering the complex environment of energy regulations, utility coordination, and public acceptance as well as evolving energy demands like Electric Vehicle charging and how these will impact future design and implementation planning.
  • Lack of IT Infrastructure/Resources: A key goal is reusing City assets where possible but at the same time supporting future smart city applications – and this creates challenges with respect to budgets, IT requirements, and security policies. The Team will review existing assets and how those can be paired with new and developing communications options to support the City’s current and future connectivity requirements.



Major Requirements

Multi-year development project that is currently in the Design/Construction Design phase with specific properties quickly approaching implementation and construction. To support these future efforts, the Chula Vista Smart Bayfront project Team will have to consider and complete the following steps:

  • Identify relevant and appropriate energy technologies that will need to be designed into a future architectural plan for each property and/or the community
  • Identify communications network options that can be built into the Bayfront’s infrastructure prior to construction start (instead of retrofitting later on)
  • Identify smart infrastructure solutions that can be planned in advance for the Bayfront
  • Identify financial and budgetary implications of technology solutions required to support future design and implementation work.

Performance Targets

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Measurement Methods

The Chula Vista Bayfront project seeks to achieve the following Energy goals:

  • Reduce annual energy use for each property development by 50%
  • Each building performing at least 15 percent better than Title 24 requirements in the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards

While individual smart infrastructure applications have their own measureable impacts, the Chula Vista Bayfront Team will evaluate how the aggregate of several solutions can provide additional benefit to the City’s economic, environmental, and social health. Specific targets have not yet been determined but will be defined in the next project phase.

Measuring energy use for infrastructure that is not yet present is a challenging proposition. The project team will use standard building profiles and energy use models with which to determine projected energy savings. For future smart infrastructure targets, the Bayfront Team will gather existing operational, financial, and environmental data as a baseline and to compare after the integration of new technologies.

Standards, Replicability, Scalability, and Sustainability

  • Standards and interoperability will be most relevant with the communications technologies used to connect distributed assets to a central database and communications center. The Team will develop requirements that consider interoperability with existing City systems but more importantly, have a standards based approach that accommodates all future smart city solutions, not just one or two.
  • The Project Team is initially focused on the Bayfront area, but the framework and budgetary information will be presented to help the City scale these across all of Chula Vista. While the Chula Vista Bayfront will be a key showcase for the City, the real operational savings, sustainability impacts, and economic development opportunities will come from deploying relevant solutions City wide.

Cybersecurity and Privacy



The Project is expected to deliver the following benefits to the City:

  • Demonstrate viability of smart, sustainable development practices that can be expanded Citywide
  • Economic development: Smart Infrastructure solutions will help grow businesses and also benefit the regional economy.
  • Sustainability: Chula Vista was the first Californian city to adopt a Climate Action Plan. The technology solutions will support the City’s Climate Action Plan and sustainability targets.
  • Citizen Engagement: communications and technology solutions can be utilized to create a sense of pride, safety, and security in the community.


  • Phase I Pilot/Demonstration:

Phase I will include the initial assessment of energy, communications, and smart infrastructure options to meet the current and future Bayfront needs. It will focus on the technology, financial, and political implications of each proposed option or solution and provide a means to help the City of Chula Vista prioritize and plan for future work

  • Phase II Deployment:

Phase II will transition from the Phase 1 assessment study into the actual design, and where appropriate pilot or implementation, of specific energy, communications, and smart infrastructure solutions for the Chula Vista Bayfront.