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Vehicle emissions HQ on the road towards net zero

“The design is complex and integrates many technologies including chilled beams, rainwater harvesting and low energy lighting controls,” Yasmin Shariff, Judge.

Project: California Air Resources Board Southern California Headquarters (CARB), Mary D. Nichols Campus 

Award: Sustainable Energy use within a Project, Gold, 2022

Location: Riverside, California, USA

Architects: ZGF

Client: California Department of General Services

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) works to reduce air pollution and is known for being a world leader in vehicle emissions standards -from the introduction of the catalytic converter in the 1970s to the more recent exposure of defeat devices in diesel engines. As such, it’s apt that its new headquarters are the largest net-zero energy building of this type in the world. 
The three-story, pinwheel-shaped building consolidates five previous locations into one testing and research facility. A mirrored, geometric art installation of air molecules is suspended in the main entrance while open plan offices flow into informal seating areas and an atrium naturally lit by skylights. Vehicle emissions testing wings are future proofed for the next generation of alternative fuel vehicles, while the 450 plus employees have access to an expansive breakroom, gym and coffee bars.

Design highlights

The building sets a new standard for energy reduction, incorporating a plethora of sustainable features including rainwater harvesting and chilled beams. A vast rooftop photovoltaic system covers over 200,000 square feet and is capable of generating enough energy each year to power an electric car for 25 million miles. The building produces a surplus of reusable energy that can be stored in onsite batteries and used to power over 100 electric vehicle charging stations on site.

{{1821034 - California Air Resources Board Southern California Headquarters}}

Photo credit: Connie Zhou 

  • LEAD ARCHITECTS: Braulio Baptista; Shara Castillo, ZGF 
    CONTRACTOR: Hensel Phelps


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