City Hall- LEED Gold Certified

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design


"The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection indoor environmental quality."

Sustainable Sites


The location of City Hall is an infill development on otherwise undevelopable site due to private ownership and PG&E powerline rights-of-way. The location does not remove existing commercial property from City of Orinda tax roles.

Other site advantages include proximity to public transportation, as well as commuter amenities providing cyclists and joggers with bike lockers and a private shower. In an effort to reduce light pollution, exterior lights face downward.

Water Efficiency


Automatic faucets and dual flushing toilets and waterless urinals reduce the facility's water consumption. Low water consuming plants are incorporated into the landscape design.

Overall, the anticipated water usage is 30% below traditional office building use of the same size.

Energy & Atmosphere


Energy usage in the building is predicted to be approximately 60% better than Title 24 Energy Standards for similar size buildings.

The facility is cooled without the use of conventional air conditioning which also contributes to the energy saving system. The commissioning of the building's mechanical equipment is designed to optimize the working system. A supplemental, follow up commissioning to is scheduled to occur one year after occupancy to retune building mechanical equipment if needed. No CFC's used in the building.

Materials & Resources


Greater than 75% of construction waste was diverted from landfill and was recycled. Recycled content of building materials greater than 5% (examples: shredded blue jean material and recycled cellulose used for insulation in walls/ceiling). Greater than 20% of building materials are sourced within 500 miles of job site reducing use of fossil fuels for transportation to site. Recycled and natural materials are used throughout building. Some examples include recycled carpet tiles, natural cork and linoleum, wheat board and sunflower board for desks and conference tables.

Indoor Environmental Quality


City Hall is a tobacco free building. During the construction phase, strict standards were applied to reduce harmful fumes. These standards continue now that the offices are in use by the public.

Building Materials such as adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpets, and composite woods were all selected for low emissions of VOC (volatile organic compounds).

Operable windows provide natural ventilation and introduce fresh air into building. Ceiling fans help circulate air, and cool the building while using reduced energy. Natural light views are available from at least 90% of work spaces.

Innovation & Design Process


All consultant categories for the project involved LEED certified professionals who maximized the efficiency and sustainability of the new City Hall. For example, the selected site provides scenic views while the building overhangs create sunscreens providing extra shading. The building was also designed with a narrow width profile to optimize opportunities for natural ventilation and daylight penetration.


Emergency Operations Center


The facility also serves as an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the event of a disaster. This required an upgraded structural system. The design was taken farther by the introduction of steel frames which incorporate cables that stretch to absorb energy in an earthquake and then tighten to return the frame to its original shape, limiting severe damage to building.

Leed Rating


City Hall has received a GOLD LEED certification. The LEED Design and construction of City Hall establishes a model for sustainable infrastructures in Orinda.