Sacramento, CA, September 16, 2019

Facility is city’s first to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure

Sacramento, Calif. - August 8, 2019 – DPR Construction, one of the nation’s leading technical builders specializing in highly complex and sustainable projects, pushed the envelope of sustainable design in the construction of its new office at 1801 J Street, transforming an existing building with a material never used in Sacramento for a building’s structure. The new DPR office space will house approximately 48 full-time employees with the intention to grow.

True to its purpose of building great things, DPR’s renovation shows what is possible in sustainability with a “living lab” office space that incorporated mass timber using cross laminated timber (CLT) panels. It is positioned to be one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings in the city and a model for what can be affordably accomplished with existing buildings throughout the region. Designed to meet LEED® Platinum and WELL™ certification standards, the space is also targeting Net Positive Energy (NPE) from the International Living Future Institute. To achieve NPE, the office will offset its energy use via on-site photovoltaic solar energy generation to produce 105% of its needed power. Additionally, the building will provide battery backup for resiliency and ban the use of combustibles, relying on electrical energy alone.

“Our focus has always been on being able to take care of people and the places where we build. The new Sacramento office will provide a welcoming environment with the intent of being socially and environmentally aware. As Sacramento continues to grow, DPR will continue to build and contribute to the city and its surroundings,” said DPR Sacramento Business Unit Leader Nils Blomquist.

DPR purchased an existing 28,833-sq.-ft. midtown property with two buildings, adapting them to achieve high environmental performance. Collaboration with design firm SmithGroup created a transformative workplace that will allow DPR employees and the surrounding community to re-envision how they work now and provide a snapshot on how they will want to work in the future.

“The SmithGroup and DPR team worked as one, coordinating from project inception to construction to realize a vision of connecting employees to Sacramento’s community and natural environment,” said Andrea Gulyas, Project Designer, SmithGroup. “The design uses mass timber to create a sleek, serene environment that enhances both environmental and employee wellness.”

DPR met its sustainable design goals for the project with the incorporation of mass timber construction with cross-laminated (CLT) panels made up of pressed, dried timber boards stacked at right angles and glued together with non-toxic adhesive—a material never used for a building’s structure in Sacramento. The use of wood elements has benefits beyond aesthetics, including lower estimated embodied carbon by 170 metric tons when compared to traditional materials. 1801 J Street is Sacramento’s only approved project using CLT for both the diaphragm and lateral system and the first multi-story shear wall application of CLT in the State of California. At the time of design review, Sacramento did not recognize CLT panels for use as lateral force-resisting elements, so with past research and testing from different organizations, the design team was able to demonstrate to the city its equivalent or superior performance.

Key features contributing to office sustainability

  • A thermal labyrinth (geothermal efficiency system) that will naturally produce “free cooling” of outside air in the warmer months and “free heating” of outside air in the colder months—1801 J is one of only a few in the nation to use this type of system.
  • The building uses specialized MEP systems to reduce energy use by 45%. A 9.8 kWh battery backup system will provide resiliency for situations such as utility power outages and serve as a community hub in the event of natural disaster.
  • Biophilia, the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life, is reflected throughout the building using Solatubes® that diffuse natural daylight through the interior, operable windows that highlight the local microclimate’s Delta Breeze, and material finishes with familiar patters & textures such as wood, stone, hexagons, bubbles and wool.