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State of California Central Plant

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Best Government/Public Building

Photo by Ed Asmus
The administrative area was built to LEED platinum standards.
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The Dept. of General Services Central Plant in Sacramento provides chilled water for cooling, steam for heating and control air to 23 state-owned buildings in the Capitol area. The utility plant serves office space that houses about 20,000 employees. The new $181-million plant was constructed on the site of a central utility plant built in 1968.

The new facility includes a steam boiler plant with four gas-fired water tube boilers. The new chiller plant comprises variable speed electric chillers, cooling towers and a 126-ft-tall, 75-ft-diameter thermal energy storage tank with a capacity of 4.2 million gallons of water for chilled-water use during peak hours. The team also installed a steam turbine generator to provide emergency power to the chillers.

The administrative area was built to LEED-Platinum certification and contains state-of-the-art equipment that enhances its efficiency, reliability and heating and cooling capacity, according to contractor Skanska USA.

Best Projects judge Mike Gemmill says, "The team is commended for bypassing the standard utilitarian approach to central plants and designing an architectural form with a sculptural flair that complements its civic neighbors. It's a wonderful integration of architecture and engineering."

Key Players

Owner: California Department of General Services

General Contractor: Skanska USA Building, Oakland

Construction Management: Jacobs, Oakland

Architect: Nacht & Lewis, Sacramento

Civil Engineer: Stantec, Sacramento

Structural Engineer: CYS Structural Engineers, Sacramento

MEP Engineer: Flack & Kurtz, San Francisco

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