Photo: Erhard Pfeifer
California's Department of Education
headquarters becomes the nation's first state-owned building to achieve
the highest possible "green building" certification
In ceremonies in the state capital, the headquarters of
California's Department of Education was acknowledged by the
as the first state-owned building to receive Platinum
Certification for energy efficiency and sustainability.
Only 19 buildings in the world that have achieved this level of LEED
(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the highest
possible rating. Nine of them are in California.
"With ten percent of all LEED-certified buildings, including almost half
of our platinum buildings right here in California, and another 500
projects in the works, California has once again stood out as a visionary
leader," said Peter Templeton, Vice President of the U.S. Green Building
come to expect nothing less from the state of California," added
Templeton. "I've seen how far we have come on this road and I know from
deep personal experience that the leadership the state of California and
Californians have shown is why we've made the progress we've made."
The Platinum award establishes the Education headquarters as a
crown jewel in Governor Schwarzenegger's
executive order on green building, issued in December, 2004, calls for all
existing state buildings, and all future state construction and renovation
projects, to meet a minimum of LEED Silver certification. It also
calls for universities and colleges funded by the state and other
entities related to state government to participate in the effort.
the governor signed the executive order, he asked for action," said
Rosario Marin, Secretary of the State & Consumer Services Agency and
Chairperson of the Governor's Green Action Team. Secretary Marin accepted
Platinum award for the state at ceremonies at the Education building.
"We know this governor is all about action," the secretary said, "action
to make California greener – and that is precisely what we are giving him
This is not the first honor for the Department of Education
building, located in the new Capitol Area East End Complex.
The facility received a LEED Gold certification for sustainable design and
construction shortly after it was completed in 2003. It also earned a U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
Energy Star rating of 95 (out of a possible 100) for superior energy
Since then, under Department of General Services supervision, DGS staff,
contractors and building operators have worked together to further improve
its energy conservation and efficiency.
"white roof" system that deflects heat, open floor designs that maximize
the use of natural light, high performance window glazing, and "smart"
light controls. A solar array generates electricity for the building's
Originally designed to be 30 percent more energy efficient
than state code requirements, new enhancements have made the building 40
percent more efficient. The initial (and impressive) energy savings of
about $120,000 a year, attained in this the 336,000 square foot, six-story
building have now reached $200,000 per year.
Indoor environmental quality for employees and visitors has also been
improved with ventilation and air distribution systems. Water efficiency
is increased, and the implementation of recycling programs has reduced
the building's waste stream.
Department of Education employees working in the building are encouraged
to use environmentally friendly products for building maintenance and
supplies. In fact, the state has just completed a comprehensive
Manual for Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, now online.
"This is precisely the sort of environmental breakthrough the
governor was aiming at when he signed his executive order," said Secretary
"He wants to see many more buildings like this one – and not just state
buildings," she added. "He wants local government and private industry to
join him in 'going LEED.'"
To download a diagram highlighting the range of building
features designed to protect the health and well being of occupants and
minimize environmental impact,
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