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A Green Retrofit for the State

Posted on: Sep 22, 2010

Major Face lift for State Office Building

Sacramento is California’s state capital and houses most of its state offices.  The twin office towers on P street housed the  state’s social services department.  Designed and built in the late ’60’s, the buildings are a good example of mid-century modernism adapted to the intense climate of the Sacramento Valley. Although the shell buildings had weathered 50 years well, there were a number of conditions that needed immediate attention. The building interiors contained a large amount of asbestos and the steel frame needed seismic reinforcing.

California State Office Building 9, HGA Architects

HGA Architects and Engineers was selected to lead the retrofit design team.  A central, two story entry hall was designed to connect the two buildings at plaza level and provide security for both.  Along with the creation of a new shared lobby, a new childcare center now fills over half of one tower’s ground floor and a new cafeteria will serve both state employees and the general public.

Over 3000 tons of asbestos laden material was removed and major seismic x bracing added to the entire structure. All building systems were upgraded to current standards and numerous energy saving controls were installed. The new buildings have over 15,000 square yards of carpet made from recycled materials.

Building Lobby

The architects eschewed high end furniture and finishes and instead used lots of recycled materials and some surprisingly attractive furniture from California Prison Industries.  If you ever wondered what some of those unfortunate guys locked up in our prison system are doing, here is an example of their labors. This project wasn’t cheap, but it did end up saving the state a considerable amount of money.  The retrofit of these buildings has probably given them another 50 years of useful life.

Second floor conference room with furniture made by prisoners

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