CARB Southern California Headquarters - Mary D. Nichols Campus

Southern California Headquarters – Mary D. Nichols Campus

CARB's new Southern California Headquarters

To support the state’s climate initiatives and determined to demonstrate the highest standards of sustainable practices, CARB designed and constructed the new Southern California Headquarters – Mary D. Nichols Campus to be a green building for the future. By integrating sustainable and energy efficient measures throughout, the 19-acre, 402,000 square-foot facility achieves Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, and zero-net energy (ZNE) performance, and California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) Tier 2 standards. At 402,000 square feet, it is the largest Zero-Net Energy (ZNE) building in the United States.

“Every element of the new Southern California Headquarters – Mary D. Nichols Campus, from the laboratory and vehicle testing cells to the stunning architecture, reflects the high standards and notable achievements CARB is recognized for around the world,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “This new headquarters will be the incubator of innovative regulatory thinking and research, playing a pivotal role in the transition of transportation in California to zero-emission technologies. That will ensure that we accelerate our actions to protect those communities hardest hit by emissions from heavy truck traffic and freight transport.

Project Overview

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 .

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