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SMUD Awards Largest Net Zero Energy Project of its Kind

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To develop what is slated to become the nation’s largest, most sustainable fleet operations campus, the seven-member board of directors of Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has awarded a comprehensive contract to the Turner Construction-Stantec design-build team to develop the new 51-acre East Campus Operations Center.

To develop what is slated to become the nation’s largest, most sustainable fleet operations campus, the seven-member board of directors of Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has awarded a comprehensive contract to the Turner Construction-Stantec design-build team to develop the new 51-acre East Campus Operations Center.
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Scheduled for completion in 2013, the new, super-green SMUD campus will be targeting a net-zero energy rating, meaning the property and its facilities will generate as much on-site renewable energy as is consumed.

Turner Construction will facilitate the building phase, while Stantec will provide buildings engineering support and primary architecture design, in association with design firm RNL. The project will also be targeting a LEED platinum rating.

“The new East Campus Operations Center is a much needed and important step that will allow us to better and more safely serve our customers, while also building a facility that is as environmentally friendly and cost effective as possible,” says Gary King, chief workforce officer at SMUD. “The project will serve as a nationwide model for customers and public utility leadership peers in the ongoing sustainability movement.”

When complete, the corporate yard will meet SMUD’s administrative and field service needs with a six-story, 203,000-sq-ft office building; fleet vehicle fueling, storage and maintenance facilities; and service tool storage structures. SMUD says final design of the project is still in the conceptual stage.

To support the net zero energy mandate for the campus, a number of sustainable design strategies will be employed on the new East Campus Operations Center. Photovoltaic and thermal solar panels will be the source of on-site renewable energy, and techniques for low-energy heating and cooling and lighting will be utilized. These will include displacement and evaporative cooling, heavy use of external shading, light louvers for enhanced daylighting, ceiling fans, geothermal energy storage, radiant slab heating and cooling, use of build exhaust air to precondition incoming air, and a heat recovery heat pump system.

The new facility, estimated to cost more than $110 million and create about 300 new jobs, will replace SMUD’s existing 19-acre corporate yard and will be located on S Street, behind the utility’s headquarters in Sacramento.

SMUD bought the land for its new facility, a former gravel quarry site, from Granite Construction in 2010 for $7.1 million. When complete, East Campus Operations Center will be the latest in an ongoing series of efforts by SMUD – the country’s sixth largest public utility – to utilize energy efficient building strategies to serve its roughly 1.4 million customers. The utility developed an 180,000-sq-ft Customer Service Center facility in 1996, which earned a LEED platinum certification.

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