Case Study:


CalPERS Headquarters Expansion

Lincoln Plaza, 400 Q Street, Sacramento, CA

Building Type: Institutional Office Building

Size: 560,000 GSF

Completion Date: Summer 2005 to Present


The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is a public pension fund providing retirement and health benefits to 1.5 million state and local public employees and their families. Its new 560,000 SF headquarters expansion covers two full blocks of downtown Sacramento; it is located in Lincoln Plaza, which is bordered by Q and R Street, and 3rd and 5th Street. The development includes two U-shaped office buildings of four stories and six stories.

The project contains underground parking, office space, and an on-site daycare facility as well as an underground pedestrian concourse connecting the new expansion to the existing Lincoln Plaza Building.

The CalPERS headquarters expansion achieved a LEED Gold rating under LEED-NC version 2. Integral to achieving this rating was not only meeting the prerequisite criteria in the category of indoor environmental quality (IEQ), but also earning Innovative Points by way of creative IEQ strategies. The role of CSC's project team was to, first, test and verify that prerequisite IEQ criteria were met and, second, design a program that demonstrates the buildings ability to deliver and maintain outstanding IEQ.

This innovative program consisted of an exhaustive initial study followed by on-going, semi-annual studies that assessed the quality of the indoor air and drinking water; off-gassing of office equipment, building materials, and furniture; and maintenance of HVAC systems. Although this program was conceived in a successful effort of earning a LEED-IEQ Innovative Point, the real benefit of this pro-active program has been the ability to quickly identify and correct deficiencies before they can have any significant impact on the building's IEQ and occupants.