CalEPA Headquarters Building


Location: 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California
Type of building: State office building
Size (Sq. ft.): 950,000 sq. ft.
New construction
Date completed: April 2001
Cost: $270 million
Owner: City of Sacramento
Designed By: AC Martin Partners Inc.

Sustainable Building Strategies


  • Building design that maximizes daylight penetration through the optimal placement of windows, and by minimizing the number of hard wall offices close to the windows.
  • Dual pane “Low E” exterior glass for energy conservation.
  • Super high efficiency/low mercury lighting tubes, and perimeter light sensors that automatically dim the lights when the sun shines in brightly. 
  • Solar energy generation of up to 55,180 KWH by the 736 photovoltaic panels mounted on the low rise roof.
  • Provision of 25 electric vehicle charging stations on the roof of the City’s Lot I parking garage (we are also pursuing solar panels for electrical generation in connection with these stations).
  • Siting for the future placement of a 250 kilowatt (KW) natural gas-powered fuel cell.

Water Conservation

  • Low Flow Fixtures
  • Waterless Urinals in Limited Use
  • Use of Native Grasses in Landscape

Indoor Air Quality & Resource Efficient Materials

  • Each floor has at least two mechanical rooms, which also function as “fan rooms” that serve only that floor, and can flush that floor with outside air, on command.
  • Use of zero volatile organic compound (VOC) paints throughout the interior.
  • Use of environmentally sensitive and resource efficient materials throughout.
  • Use of 52 percent recycled-content carpet tiles, with a “sticky-back” feature that does not require wet glue, and therefore significantly reduces the introduction of VOCs into the workplace.

Waste Reduction

  • Under-desk vermiculture bins (compost bins with worms growing in them) will be maintained by some staff to recycle organic waste. The organic waste produced will be used in the courtyard flowerbeds. Integrated Waste Management Board staff has been practicing vermiculture since 1992 in the building they occupied before the CalEPA headquarters building.
  • Special design of the dock area recycling center and recycling collection points on each floor to maximize recycling activities.

Lessons learned: Not all sustainable features cost more. In fact, the 82 percent recycled-content ceiling tiles and 52 percent recycled-content carpet were cheaper than their virgin counterparts. Through thoughtful planning, other sustainable features, such as designing for optimum building orientation to conserve energy, can be incorporated into the design without increasing costs.

Additional Information

For more information contact: Office of Public Affairs,