California Air Resources Board: Southern California consolidation project

Most advanced vehicle testing in the world. Largest zero net energy lab building in the USA.

By Affiliated Engineers September 26, 2019

Consolidating five existing locations, the new home of the California Air Resource Board (CARB) will be one of the largest and most advanced vehicle emissions testing and research facilities in the world – as well as the world’s largest zero net energy (ZNE) facility of its type. The nature of CARB’s research mission, regulating as-yet unregulated emissions constituents, demands high-performance precision laboratory environments to produce repeatable data and meet ZNE.

Housing more than 400 employees near the University of California, Riverside campus, the design-build project will provide advanced chemistry laboratories, a range of dedicated vehicle test cells, workspace for accommodating new test methods for future generations of vehicles, space for developing enhanced onboard diagnostics and portable emissions measurement systems, and public areas. Awarded by the California Department of General Services through design competition, the project team used AEI-developed performance modeling tools for rapid system concept testing, validating a suite of climate-responsive systems strategies improving on the project’s already aggressive energy use intensity (EUI) target by an additional 20%.

CARB leads, the world follows. The context of this building is high energy usage and precision measurements. By accepting the challenge of Zero Net Energy for this building, CARB is setting a global standard.” — Dave Sereno

The building’s energy use will be offset by 3.8MW of photovoltaic (PV) panels on site. 1.5 MWh of battery storage will optimize utility costs under a net-metering agreement. A comprehensive approach to water conservation, collection, and reuse will contribute to a nearly 50% reduction in required potable water use. The new facility and 19-acre CARB campus will be designed and built targeting the highest possible levels of measured sustainability, with the intention to achieve LEED Platinum certification and meet California’s CALGreen Tier 2 threshold for overall sustainability and energy efficiency.

This article originally appeared on Affiliated Engineers’ website. Affiliated Engineers is a CFE Media content partner. 

Original content can be found at