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SACRAMENTO-The United States Green Building Council has selected Downtown Sacramento’s Joe Serna Jr. Building, otherwise known as the CalEPA headquarters, for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design pilot program for existing buildings.

Located at 1001 I Street, across the street from Sacramento’s City Hall and Cesar Chavez Plaza, the 25-story, 950,000-sf building houses CalEPA’s 3,100 employees. The building is named in memory of Sacramento’s late mayor.

The $170 million building was completed in 1999 with project financing arranged through the sale of bonds. The Department of General Services signed a 25-year lease with the City of Sacramento, until retirement of the bonds.

Developed by Thomas Properties Group in partnership with the City, the project was based on green design and engineering principles that conserve energy and natural resources. According to city officials, it is a model project in terms of energy efficiency, exceeding energy efficiency requirements by at least 29%.

“This building demonstrates that green development is not only environmentally sound but cost effective as well,” says James A. Thomas, president of Thomas Properties Group. “Every aspect of design and construction incorporated sustainable, yet economically competitive, technologies, materials, methods and processes.”

This building is one of 51 across the U.S. and Canada involved in the Green Building Council’s pilot program for existing buildings, which is designed to collect data that demonstrates the financial viability of green building operation, setting a benchmark for the industry and encouraging other building owners to follow similar practices.

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