Top LEED certification for Cal ISO headquarters
As one of the largest independent network operators in the world, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (Cal ISO) supplies over 300 million megawatt-hours of energy per year and provides 80 percent of the state of California with power. When designing the Cal ISO headquarters in Folsom, California, the architects used an energy-efficient metallic mesh sun protection facade from the technical weaving company GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG (GKD) to make a statement that shows that the company lives sustainability at every level.
Innovative, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient is what the power network of the future is set to look like. Cal ISO is committed to this sustainable corporate strategy both externally and internally. That’s why the new headquarters of the energy giant were constructed in the open countryside, nestled in a savannah landscape and surrounded by an oak clearing. Along with space for 580 employees, the facility provides a training centre for renewable energies, a smart grid laboratory, and rooms for administrative and public purposes. The complex consists of three separate wings that are joined together by a lobby in the centre of the headquarters. A hallmark of the open and innovative concept by architects Dreyfuss & Blackford are the large windows that extend virtually the entire length of the individual wings and reflect the transparency of the company. A key element is the sun protection facade from GKD, which drapes across the building-high windows like a second skin. Nine rectangular metallic mesh elements made from Omega 1510 stainless steel mesh protect the west side of the two-storey building from direct sunlight, while underscoring the sustainable lighting concept by allowing in natural light. The individual panels filter the sunlight, yet their transparency enables the daylight to be used and gives an unimpeded view of the outside surroundings. At the same time, the 93-square-metre solar protection elements reduce heating of the inside of the building through sunlight and lower the costs of air-conditioning the rooms. The positive energy balance and, not least, the sustainable efficiency of the stainless steel mesh made an important contribution towards the Cal ISO headquarters receiving the highest LEED Platinum certification, allowing the company to look forward to an environmentally friendly and successful future.