Over a decade of planning has gone into the development of a replacement for CARB’s aging Haagen-Smit Laboratory. Opened in 1973 in El Monte, California, the Haagen-Smit Laboratory is the site of many of CARB’s groundbreaking efforts to reduce the emissions of cars and trucks, as well as efforts to introduce zero-emission and plug-in vehicles to California. In 2015, engineers and technicians based at the Haagen-Smit Laboratory were instrumental in discovering the infamous VW diesel “defeat device,” leading to the largest emissions control violation settlement in national and California history.
The new facility will feature an extended range of dedicated test cells, especially for testing of heavy-duty vehicles. There will also be workspace for accommodating new test methods for future generations of vehicles, and space for developing enhanced on-board diagnostics and portable emissions measurement systems. The facility also includes a separate advanced chemistry laboratory. The Southern California Headquarters’ office and administration space is planned for about 460 employees and includes visitor reception and public areas, a press room, flexible conference and workshop space, and a 250-person public auditorium.
The building is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest level awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, and meet California’s CalGreen Tier 2 threshold for overall sustainability and energy efficiency of the building. Solar photovoltaic panels will supply at least 3.5 megawatts of electricity while water conservation features and native, drought-tolerant landscaping will be used throughout the site. Adjacent secure staff parking will include at least 120 charging stations for electric vehicles. Public parking will also include electric vehicle charging stations and a public DC fast‑charge location.