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The award-winning DGS Central Plant, located in downtown Sacramento, provides cooling, heating and control air to 23 state-owned buildings in the capitol area. The utility plant serves over 5.5 million-SF of office space and was constructed on the site of a less efficient plant, which struggled to meet increasing demands for heating and cooling. The new plant was built to LEED® Platinum standards and contains state-of-the-art equipment that has enhanced efficiency and reliability, along with increasing the heating and cooling capacity.
Jay WeisbergerVice President, Communications WestSkanska USA Inc.+1 206 494 5469
E-mail Jay Weisberger
Market segment: Building, Power
ENR Calirornia's 2011 Best Government/Public Building Project Award
DBIA-WPR's 2011 Best Project Award - Civic Category
BD+C's 2011 Building Team Bronze Award
SacTown Magazine's 2011 Best of the City Award
WCCC's 2011 Exceptional Project Award
Sacramento Business Journal's 2011-2012 Real Estate Project of the Year Award - Utility Category
NCMA's 2011 Design Award of Excellence in Sustainability
Steel Tank Institute's 2010 Tank of the Year
Libery Mutual Silver Safety Award
The plant is LEED® Platinum certified and contains state-of-the-art equipment that has enhanced efficiency, reliability, and the heating and cooling capacity. The plant no longer discharges warm water into the Sacramento River and complies with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board temperature criteria. The more reliable heating and cooling systems have reduced energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The plant is also more water efficient, generates a proportion of its own energy from solar arrays and has reduced outdoor noise.
The project benefitted the local economy by employing people from the Sacramento area and by utilizing regional construction materials and subcontractors, and 35 percent of the work was contracted to local businesses, which amounted to $ 62.7 million. Small and disadvantaged businesses were also prioritized, including companies that supplied the structural concrete, interior casework, landscaping, testing and some design services. Locally manufactured or quarried products included the stone veneers, masonry products, concrete and aggregates, interior finishes, gypsum wall products, and reinforcing and light gauge steel materials.
A public information program was implemented during the design and construction of the plant.
The program included a project website, which was managed by the DGS to communicate project progress and provide neighborhood updates. Skanska mailed monthly project status reports to neighbors in a four-block radius of the project. Contractor signage was also located around the site with contact telephone numbers for the public to discuss any questions or concerns.
Permanent educational display boards of various sizes hang in the viewing area overlooking the chiller plant. The DGS also provides information brochures and guided tours to educate visitors of the sustainability aspects of the plant.
A safety leadership team was established during preconstruction to oversee the project safety program, monitor monthly performance and identify safety risks. Skanska’s Injury Free Environment® (IFE) program, which includes “stretch and flex” warm-up exercises for workers, was implemented onsite. The project also worked with an Owner Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP), which emphasized accident prevention and safety.
The construction workforce varied in size from 75 to 600 full-time construction employees and the majority of the team was from the Sacramento area. During the peak project workforce period between November 2008 and July 2009, the project paid approximately $ 3.5 million dollars in monthly payroll into the local economy.
The plant uses 58 percent less energy than the old plant, which has significantly reduced operational costs for the DGS. The TES tank reduces cooling costs by avoiding cooling water during peak hours when electricity is more expensive. The tank also spreads the cooling load throughout the day, which avoids the need for additional chillers during peak periods. The initial investment for the new steam boiler plant is estimated to be repaid within 2 years due to the use of flue stack economizers and other energy enhancements, and the chilled water plant within 6 years due to significantly reduced energy consumption.