Congratulations to Caltrans on LEED Gold!

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.

View the Case Study. More details about the project are available at the USGBC project website.