Holakiewicz also considered solar glare and chose a high-performance, double-glazed glass with a low-E coating. He says the color of the glass also was important. “Not only is this glass high performance, but the coating on the glass is very warm. It has a bronze color to it, and that dealt with the solar glare and also was harmonious to the textures of Old Town. We were balancing heat gain and glare with aesthetics.”
Credit: Benny Chan, Fotoworks
“From my perspective, the biggest success on this project was breaking the buildings apart and creating these connected environments that addressed all the façades from a climatic point of view,” Johnson relates. “The varied orientation of the buildings allowed for better solar usages and public and private gathering spaces on the site. The bridges and outdoor walkways also provide solar protection and elevated areas for employees to gather for group meetings and presentations. I think this truly has become a campus for Caltrans.”
It has been said that a high-performance building only will perform as well as the knowledge of the people operating it. The state of California is aware of this and oversees the complex’s performance through a campus-wide energy-management system, making changes to systems as necessary.
“We work with our EMS installer on a monthly basis to keep our system fine tuned,” explains Jeff Tucker, building manager III, California Department of General Services. “We have a service contract that allows at least eight hours per month for a controls technician to work on-site and provide ongoing specific training to our in-house staff. The mechanical-system engineer and designer, Michael Akavan, principal at MA Engineers, San Diego, has made himself available on several levels to make it easier for our in-house engineering staff to understand our systems as installed, which has contributed to our ongoing energy efficiency.”
The central plant features a multiple-stage boiler and chiller; fans, pumps and centrifugal chillers include variable-frequency drives to reduce energy consumption during low-load conditions. Holakiewicz centralized the plant on campus to reduce runs of chilled-water lines. Its mass acts as a sound barrier between the railroad and outdoor public spaces.
“From the standpoints of long-term maintenance and overall energy efficiency of the campus, the central plant was by far the most efficient way to go,” Holakiewicz says. “It was not the least costly because what you’re doing is putting state-of-the-art equipment in one location and then pumping chilled water throughout the campus.”
Credit: Benny Chan, Fotoworks
To eliminate chemical use in the two 500-ton (459-metric ton) cooling towers, the plant utilizes a water-treatment system. A recent chiller-condenser inspection confirmed the water-treatment system is preventing biological build-up, allowing the cooling towers to perform at optimum efficiency. To further increase energy efficiency, Holakiewicz positioned fan rooms on external walls of each building floor to filter air, reduce ducting and promote zoned temperature control by floor.
Inside the office buildings, task lighting with T5 bulbs and indirect lighting with T8 bulbs are controlled by the amount of daylight entering the space, full-height versus partial-height partitions, and user functions. Restrooms feature 1.6-gallon- (6-L-) per-flush toilets, 1-gallon- (4-L-) per-flush urinals and low-flow faucets. The complex recently received its first waterless urinal, which is being tested to determine whether at least one waterless urinal should be installed in the complex’s 12 men’s restrooms.
Landscaping features mostly drought-tolerant plants. When watering is necessary, it is monitored. “Our groundskeepers are monitoring our irrigation system to keep watering to a minimum and make repairs quickly when required,” Tucker notes. “I do not have specific consumption data at this time, but we will be installing some additional flow meters in the near future to verify water consumption on some specific systems, such as our cooling towers and individual buildings.”