SoCal Gas Base + CNG Fueling Station

SoCal Gas Base, Training Facility, & Compressed National Gas (CNG) Fueling Station

Goal: LEED & WELL Gold, Net Zero, CNG

Southern California Gas Co.’s (SoCalGas) new net-zero energy building in Bakersfield will serve as its regional base. The building has a goal of Gold under the International WELL Building Institute’s (IWBI) WELL Building Standard (WELL). It is also seeking Gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its environmental benefits, which include a photovoltaic solar energy system, storm water management, drought resistant and climate-appropriate landscaping, the use of natural lighting for the wellness of employees and a super energy efficient air conditioning system power by natural gas instead of electricity.

SIZE: 31,000 SF

SUSTAINABILITY: Goal: LEED & WELL Gold, Net Zero, Compressed National Gas (CNG)

SECTOR: Corporate Office, Training, Fueling Station

PROJECT TYPE: New Construction

LOCATION: Bakersfield, CA, USA

The 31,000 square-foot concrete tilt-up building includes an employee training facility and customer demonstration center, plus a separate storage building, garage, photovoltaic solar energy system and compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station for company and public use. This new LEED-certified and WELL-certified building is designed to be net-zero energy, meaning the total energy used by the building will be roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site from its photovoltaic energy system. In addition, the new facility’s Customer Demonstration Center will exhibit some of the many emerging gas technologies, created with SoCalGas support, that deliver meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reductions. SoCalGas employees housed at the new facility will serve more than 100,000 homes and businesses across a region of more than 7,500 square miles and maintain more than 1,700 miles of natural gas pipeline.

The new fueling station is open to the public and will exclusively offer renewable natural gas (RNG), a clean, sustainable fuel made from methane that would otherwise be emitted from landfills, dairy farms, and other waste sources. The new RNG station extends the network of clean natural gas stations across a key regional goods movement corridor in the San Joaquin Valley, which experiences the worst particulate matter pollution in the state, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). In any given day, over twenty thousand trucks pass through Highway 99 in Bakersfield, emitting roughly eighty-five tons of smog-causing nitrogen-oxide emissions. Near-Zero emissions natural gas trucks fueled with RNG can virtually eliminate smog forming pollutants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change by as much as 80 percent.

Renewable natural gas (RNG) is not a fossil fuel. It is a renewable form of energy produced from the methane emissions at dairy farms, wastewater treatment plants, landfills, and other waste streams. Depending on its source, RNG can be low-carbon or in some cases, even carbon neutral or negative. Capturing the methane from these waste sources and converting it into RNG keeps greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change and reduces the use of fossil fuels.

In California, vehicles account for more than 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent of smog-forming pollution in the state, with heavy duty trucks among the largest polluters. In the San Joaquin Valley, car and truck emissions make up about half of all measured airborne particulate matter, according to CARB. Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel for heavy duty trucks and buses has increased almost 600 percent, helping displace over seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. That’s equal to the emissions from more than a million homes’ electricity use for one year. In California alone, there are currently 30 operational dairy RNG projects, with approximately 50 more in various stages of development. SoCalGas began directly injecting RNG into its pipelines for the first time in 2018 when the company began accepting RNG produced at a waste hauling company’s anaerobic digestion facility in Pixley, California. In 2019, RNG produced at a dairy digester facility in California also utilized SoCalGas’ pipelines for delivery. This facility is expected to eventually collect RNG from anaerobic digesters at 12 dairies, which would prevent about 130,000 tons of GHGs from entering the atmosphere each year. Scientists at the University of California, Davis estimate that California’s existing organic waste could produce enough RNG to meet the needs of 2.3 million homes.

In addition to being used to fuel trucks and buses, RNG can also be delivered to customers to generate clean electricity and to heat homes and businesses. Nationally, a just-released study by ICF estimates that enough renewable natural gas will be available by 2040, to replace about 90 percent of the nation’s current residential natural gas consumption.

Last year, SoCalGas committed to delivering 20 percent of the natural gas it buys for homes and businesses from renewable sources by 2030. To kickstart the plan, SoCalGas is pursuing regulatory authority to implement a broad renewable natural gas procurement program. The company has also filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission to allow current natural gas customers to sign up to purchase renewable natural gas for their homes. A similar, voluntary program was launched in Philadelphia earlier in January 2020.

Several utilities and commercial fleets have committed to increasing the use of RNG as part of their sustainability efforts. For example:

In addition, SoCal Gas has worked with fleet owners to secure millions of dollars in incentive funding for the replacement of diesel trucks with cleaner, new near-zero emissions natural gas trucks. Each new natural gas truck that replaces a traditional diesel truck is the equivalent of taking 57 passenger cars off the road. SoCalGas’ commitment to increase the use of RNG both in transportation and in buildings is part of a broad, inclusive and integrated plan to help California reach its ambitious climate goals. 

Renewable natural gas use in trucking and public transit has grown tremendously in recent years since it offers drivers an affordable way to reduce emissions and delivers the power they need to get the job done. We are excited to offer drivers who travel through Bakersfield an environmentally friendly fueling option that can immediately improve air quality in the region.

Cedric Williams, Vice President of Construction, SoCal Gas

Bakersfield serves as the center of a major movement corridor. As one of the most important food and dairy producing hubs, having this CNG fueling station in Bakersfield will help us reduce our carbon footprint as we transport needed goods across the country. We thank our partners at SoCalGas for bringing this valuable resource to our community.

Karen K. Goh, Mayor of Bakersfield, CA

Project Photos

Photos Courtesy of JTC Architects

Citadel Environmental Inc.

Citadel Environmental Inc.

LEED Platinum

Citadel Environmental Services, Inc. is the remodel of an 8,000 sq. ft. 1973 building to become Citadel’s LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy Corporate Offices. Citadel’s remodel project is a case study proving that sustainable remodels can be accomplished at the budget of a “traditional” (i.e., non-green) remodel–with the right team in place and a keen understanding of all the potential green building incentives, both nationally and locally.

The team worked closely to accomplish a long list of green-building improvements.

SIZE: 8,000 SF 

SUSTAINABILITY: LEED Platinum, Net Zero Energy, Human Focus

SECTOR: Commercial Office

PROJECT TYPE: Rehabilitation / Adaptive Reuse

LOCATION: Glendale, CA

Highlights include:

  • Maximum use of natural light: skylights installed, primary dependence on daylight vs. lights, and every seat in office has access to outside view
  • New energy efficient double-paned exterior windows and storefronts;
  • New packaged air handling systems (SER-14 units), which are 37% more efficient
  • New water-efficient interior plumbing and bathroom fixtures reduce usage by 62%
  • Green Seal certified furniture systems (contains high amount of recycled content)
  • 120 solar panels provide 45,000 khw per year, enough to power the entire building (Citadel and tenant), and net meter additional energy back to the City of Glendale;
  • Native, drought-tolerant landscaping with temporary drip irrigation system;
  • New energy-efficient lighting design requires 38.5% less power aesthetic; and
  • Focus on a 500-mile radius for sourcing over 20% of its materials.
  • Citadel even managed to salvage a historic mural of the Three Stooges that existed from the prior building tenant, the licensing arm of that well-known comedy team. It now resides as a wall in the kitchen/break room.

In addition to a LEED® Platinum certified workplace, Citadel integrates sustainability and well-being principles and practices across many facets of the daily operation for their employees: reducing paper consumption and utilizing electronic communications, purchasing and utilizing “green” products, placing recycling stations in offices, offering telecommuting as an option for employees, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, encouraging use of mass transit as well as fuel efficient and alternative energy vehicles, making use of teleconferencing and video-conferencing to reduce travel, choosing vendors that support the company’s sustainability goals, and maintaining an interactive intranet site to share sustainability information, news and best practices.

 

Citadel Environmental Services Inc.’s LEED® Platinum certification is a prime example that sustainability is scalable and makes sound economic sense.

Rick Redrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council

Awards

  • The first LEED® CI project to receive Platinum certification in the Tri-City area of Glendale, Pasadena & Burbank; 1 of 10 in the state of California; and 1 of 89 in the country.
  • The second LEED® project to receive Platinum certification in the Tri-City area of Glendale, Pasadena & Burbank, second only to Shangri-La Construction’s Hangar 25 in Burbank, CA; and 1 of 60 in California.
  • One of 6188 certified projects in the country as of certification.
  • Citadel Environmental Services, Inc., also has received the Climate Leader Award from CoolCalifornia.org on May 3rd, for being proactive in reducing their climate impacts. CoolCalifornia recognizes small business owners in California who have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), incorporated climate-friendly activities, and used the tools at CoolCalifornia.org.
  • Ranked by the LA Business Journal as a “Best Place to Work” in 2013, 2014, 2016-2018

Project Photos