The Fausel Professional Building in Placerville, CA, has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), becoming the first building on the western slope of El Dorado County to achieve such a high rating for sustainability.
The building, designed by ANOVA Architects, is more than 18,000 square feet and is nestled into the west end of historic downtown Placerville. It sits on the site of the old Mountain Brewery and is wrapped around Placerville’s oldest residence, the Fausel House, which was relocated to allow for space on the site for the award-winning infill project.
Features of the building include reduced transportation through adjacency to public transportation and downtown services, and preferred parking for carpools, bicycles (with showers for staff), and low-emitting vehicles; light pollution reduction and protection of nocturnal habitats by the use of down-directed subdued site lighting; drip irrigation and native drought-tolerant landscaping, waterless urinals, and low-flow faucets and fixtures to achieve about half the water use of a conventional building; high-efficiency heating, cooling, hot water, elevator, and lighting systems that reduce energy costs by 46 percent; recycled and regional materials along with construction and occupant recycling programs to reduce material use, landfill waste, and pollution; and a healthy indoor environment for employees through the use of low- and non-toxic building materials, operable windows, group and individual lighting and temperature controls, outside views, and daylighting, which allows most of the building lights to be turned off during the day.
“This building continues to impress,” says Charlie Downs, president at ANOVA. “Along with the contextual design, sustainability was a top priority for our new office. We wanted to create a building that was energy efficient, used local and recycled materials, and provided a healthy environment for our employees. With the news we achieved a LEED Gold rating, we have clearly met and exceeded those goals.”
The green design and details of the project were overseen by Patty Karapinar, sustainability coordinator at ANOVA, who says the key was establishing those green goals early in the project and making sure they were in the front of mind as every decision was made. “This is something we try to tell our clients – establishing your sustainability goals from the very beginning is critical,” says Karapinar. “If you know your goals and what you are aiming for, it helps guide teams through the life of the project. It affects the position of the building, the ystems, and the materials you use, and dozens of other details.”