Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s East Campus Operations Center Receives LEED Platinum Rating

Project to save enough energy annually to power 400 homes.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--Designed by Stantec in association with RNL, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s East Campus Operations Center (SMUD EC-OC) has received a LEED® Platinum rating from the USGBC. Net zero energy is also being targeted, meaning it will generate as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.

“The East Campus Operations Center is the latest tribute to our district’s long-held commitment to sustainability,” said Greg August, SMUD general services manager. “Our goal was for this project to serve as a model for similar facilities and this LEED rating is a wonderful complement to that mission.”

Some sustainable highlights are:

The 361,700 square-foot East Campus Operations Center includes offices, equipment repair shops, maintenance and warehouse buildings, storage space and parking for fleet vehicles and employees. Among key features supporting the high energy performance goals at SMUD’s EC-OC are: Weather Wise weather-predicting technology to control the operations of the central utility plant. Equipment runs when weather conditions allow for highest efficiency.

  The administration building is a six-story cast-in-place concrete structure with a radiant heating and cooling system that provides comfortable temperatures. Concrete slabs in ceilings cool or heat using a network of embedded pipes carrying water.

A geoexchange field that stores energy in the ground using water. During the summer, heat from the building’s water loop is dumped into the ground; during the winter, heat is extracted from the earth to heat the building.

The administrative building is armed with effective temperature control. North and south façades have windows to provide sufficient daylight, but enough shading to keep internal temperatures cool. East and west façades have no windows, minimizing heat gain into the building. 

A sizable underground cistern that stores water reclaimed from various areas of the SMUD campus, including 75,000 gallons annually from the administration building. No drinking water is used to irrigate on-site landscaping.

The combined techniques employed on the campus for low-energy heating, cooling, and lighting result in energy reductions of 36 percent less than ASHRAE 90.1 for the campus. The office building uses 60 percent less energy than a typical California office building. A 1.1-megawatt solar panel provides the source of annual energy.

In total the EC-OC offsets over 3.7 kilowatt-hours of electricity or enough electricity to power 413 homes.