A Blueprint for Sustainable State Facilities

In response to Executive Order D-16-00, which former Governor Gray Davis issued to ensure that State buildings are designed, constructed, and maintained in a “sustainable” manner, the Sustainable Building Task Force prepared Building Better Buildings: A Blueprint for Sustainable State Facilities (Blueprint 2001). The Blueprint reflected the unique vision of more than 32 governmental agency representatives and includes a set of action items designed to green state construction.

As a follow-up to Blueprint 2001, the task force published Building Better Buildings: An Update on State Sustainable Building Initiatives (Blueprint 2003). Blueprint 2003 is a progress report on the state’s sustainable building efforts, highlights notable policy and program achievements; describes key task force partnerships; provides an in-depth look at several significant sustainable building projects; and details task force goals for the coming years.

By using less energy, water, and materials, sustainable buildings save California’s natural resources and provide a healthier work environment–with more natural light and cleaner air–which contributes to employee well-being and productivity. Sustainable buildings are also cost effective, saving taxpayer money by reducing operations and maintenance costs and lowering utility bills. Quite simply, investing in appropriate sustainable features on the front end of construction pays off financially and operationally during the life of the building, often many times over.

Accomplishments include:

  • Building the first LEED Gold state-owned office building in the country, the Education Headquarters Building, which is saving taxpayers $500,000 a year in energy costs alone.
  • Impacting the sustainability of K-12 bond funded school construction throughout the state by providing funding and technical assistance to support the work of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), including the construction of 13 demonstration high performance schools.
  • Incorporating sustainable building performance standards, such as energy efficiency, in over $2 billion of state construction and renovation contracts.
  • Finalizing the most comprehensive economic analysis of green building developed to date, The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Building, which demonstrates that sustainable building is cost effective.

For more information contact, the Office of Public Affairs, opa@calrecycle.ca.gov