The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in San Luis Obispo has recently been awarded LEED Gold certification.
The project located at 2885 S. Higuera Street involved a major renovation of and addition to an existing 35,000-square-foot structure. Built in the 1960s, the space was originally used as a storage building and more recently a small viticulture processing plant, before it was remodeled for the new Caltrans offices.
LEED certification was achieved through a variety of sustainable construction strategies including: building and materials reuse; energy-efficient design; low impact development for stormwater; and reduced indoor and outdoor water use.
A summary of specific green features follows:
· 83% of the existing building was reused for the project. Leaky doors and windows were replaced and a second floor of workspace was added to the lofty warehouse facility.
· Exemplary performance was achieved for material reuse and regional materials, at 49% and 60% respectively.
· A 40% reduction in indoor water use was achieved through the use of highly efficient flow and flush fixtures.
· The landscape utilizes permeable pavers, bioswales and basins to efficiently filter and infiltrate stormwater, which reduces runoff and recharges groundwater.
· Water-efficient plants and trees have been used throughout the landscape, reducing outdoor water use by 57%.
· The building is expected to use 31% less energy compared to similar buildings.
· 35% of the electricity used in the first two years will be purchased from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
· The site design provided vegetated open space for 31% of the project site.
· The project supports alternative transportation with a location that provides access to local services, extensive bicycle parking, employee showers, infrastructure for electric vehicles, and a comprehensive transportation management plan.
Regional Priority credits
· Caltrans achieved four regional priority credits, the maximum available to projects. These priorities emphasized water efficiency and a site selection that integrates new building into existing infrastructures.