Friends Center

Friends Center 2017-10-27T12:25:39+00:00

Project Description

Strawbale in the City

As the first permitted strawbale building to be constructed in center city San Diego, the Friends Center project was developed and designed as a showcase “green” building, a demonstration site for state-of-the-art environmentally sustainable building techniques, including strawbale construction, solar power, passive solar design, rainwater capture, and other energy-efficient components.

Visually, the design for this church and commercial office space was inspired by Spanish courtyard homes and Midwestern grain silos.

In addition to design skills and knowledge of environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient materials and processes, Hubbell & Hubbell was instrumental in educating the City Building Department on alternative building materials and obtaining building permits, making this the first multipurpose strawbale project in the City.  When completed, the structure is expected to receive a minimum of LEED “silver” certification by the US Green Building Council, and was used by the San Diego chapter of the USGBC as an early case-study of sustainable design and implementation.

The Friends Center is a result of collaboration among four groups: The Friends of San Diego, The Peace Resource Center, The American Friends Service Committee, and The Church of the Brethren.The Friends Center project is a demonstration model of earth-friendly values for now and for our future, and it also demonstrates how advocates of peace and justice can collaborate to share resources and space.

The process of creating this special building includes plenty of room for volunteers of all sorts to contribute to a permanent center for San Diego that will promote peace, social justice, spiritual growth and a sustainable environment.

Learn more on their website, and in this pdf summary of the Friends Center: Project Values Partners.

Project Details



7.572 sq ft (exterior) church and commercial offices. Light-gauge steel post & beam with straw bale infill.


3850 Westgate Place San Diego, California 92105