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 campus features an extended range of dedicated test cells, including heavy-duty testing. There is also 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 accommodates 460 employees and includes visitor reception and public areas, a press room, flexible conference and workshop space, and a 250-person public auditorium.
Sustainability drove the striking architecture and every detail of the campus. Designed by ZGF Architects and built by Hensel Phelps, the new headquarters is built for the future. At 402,000 square feet, it is designed to be the largest Zero Net Energy building in the United States, aided by solar arrays throughout the campus that generate 3.5 Megawatts of electricity, and a chilled beam temperature management system that provides increased energy efficiency and occupant comfort. As a result, the facility achieves Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, and California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) Tier 2 standards and is designed to achieve Zero-Net Energy performance .